Hines Ward says he’ll play again


The Steelers announced on Wednesday that receiver Hines Ward will be cut.  In response, Ward said he still wants to play.

“I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL again this upcoming season,” Ward said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“This isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end.  I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here 14 years ago,” Ward added.  “I want to thank the organization, my teammates and coaches and everyone who made my run as a Steeler the best years of my life.  To Mr. Rooney, thank you for allowing me to play for one of the greatest organizations in the world. To my fans and in particular Steeler Nation, thank you for your support and all the great memories.  I gave my heart and soul for you every down and I will always bleed black and gold.”

Ward previously had said he’d be willing to take a pay cut from his $4 million salary to stay with the team.  But even at the 10-plus-year veteran minimum of $925,000, Ward had fallen too far down the depth chart to justify having a roster spot and not playing special teams.

Other teams could be interested.  Former Steelers offensive coordinators Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey are coaching the Cardinals and Jaguars, respectively.  Also, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune pointed out, Ward played for Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake at Georgia.

It will be strange, to say the least, to see Ward playing for a team other than the Steelers.  But no stranger than seeing another guy who entered the league in 1998 inevitably playing for a team other than the Colts.

95 responses to “Hines Ward says he’ll play again

  1. John Fox are you watching; because the Broncos could really use a vet like this to groom our young recievers! He’s right he does have a lot of football left in him;so jump on it Denver!!! Remember when Rod Smith stayed around to help groom Brandon Marshall and look how that turned out, just saying!!!!!!!!

  2. Tough choice between the city where old Steelers go to die and the city where old receivers go to die.

  3. I don’t think anyone will sign him. As great as he was, his wheels have fallen off.

  4. It is what it is, the Steelers and Colts owe Hines and Peyton nothing and the reverse is true. This isn’t your father’s NFL

  5. I’m not a Steelers fan, but I like Hines Ward and the way he plays. People can call him dirty all they want but the same people that call him dirty are the same people that want other WRs to do more dirty work like blocking down field. Never was a “Diva WR” and how can you hate on a guy that smiles every play??

  6. His release news makes today the best day ever..on the other hand I would love him on my flag team lol

  7. the Nature Boy Ric Flair used to call himself the dirtiest player in the game, I guess he never lined up or has been blindsided by Hines Ward. He is still a better receiver than that Linda Swann who played for the Burg years ago.

  8. I honestly don’t know which one is weirder, Heinz not playing for the Steelers or Manning not playing for the Colts. Next year is going to be weird.

  9. I think It’s crazy how a washed up old reciver like this will get work, but one that can still produce like t.o. could not get a job, football is played on the field not the locker room,

  10. Wow! For Browns fans never to have to see that arrogant smile again taunting the Browns! Not a dirty player? Ask the guys he blind sided over the years, including the Bengals linebacker whose jaw he broke with a dirty blind side hit. Good riddance. I hope the DBs in the league give him the Dick Butkus treatment now that he can’t run anymore.

  11. It is a shame that the NFL has become such big money business when players as ward that have been a big part of the team and city is let go. It is what it is as they say but a shame. Deep inside many of the Steeler haters have to admit they would have liked a palayer that did it all on their team.

  12. The guy worked his butt off and never had a pass-first team until 2007.

    Pretty impressive career numbers for all of the mediocre QBs he had before Roethlisberger.

    Played tight end better than most of the tight ends in the league, too.

  13. I like how Brown’s fans are obsessed with the idea of getting former Steeler players on their team.

  14. You don’t have to like Hines, but facts are facts.

    He’s the most decorated receiver for the most decorated franchise in NFL history.

    Not sure where his next stop is, but his final stop is Canton.

  15. Hines ward was never a spectacular receiver, but he will find work after he’s old and washed up, yet T.O. has to play in the IFL and Randy Moss has to take no guaranteed money offers.

  16. He’s had the kind of career few others have had: always steady, never spectacular. Best of luck in the future, Hines.

  17. Cordellgc, you are clueless and obviously haven’t played sports at a top level. If team mates can’t trust one another it doesn’t matter the talent you have. It is a team sport, not a pursuit by 54 individuals. You won’t find a single pro – coach, player, owner, GM – who wouldn’t support that view.

    Go back to playing Madden ’12. It’s apparently the only game you have played. Moron.

  18. We still managed a PM reference… Thank goodness! I was getting worried for a little while there.

    Good luck in your future endeavors Hines. I can see an AZ or Hou type club snatching him up.

  19. Lots of teams could use a washed up vet for their third string. Teach those young receivers how to properly get off a DUI charge.

  20. As the rules have changed, a place for a cheap-shot artist such as Ward are few and far between.
    Surely we haven’t forgotten how dirty this played for at least 10 years of his career. My only hope is that he gets to play another year someplace where he gets leveled every game. Dancing with the stars in his head!

    When Ward smiles, I have the auto-impulse to want to slap him. (saw him needlessly injure too many players)

  21. For God sakes Hines let it go. You are a Steeler! Now you are going to be a Bengal or Titan? It doesn’t fit. You can do nothing but tarnish your reputation. Know when to give it up.

  22. The announcement caught his teammates off guard. The truck came early in the morning to pick up Hines, before full light. So they had to take Kevin Colbert’s word that the sign on the side of it said “Elmer’s Glee Factory”, and that Hines would be having never ending fun from now on.

  23. Hines Ward still being classy even after getting released. Speaks volumes to his character. Really going to miss watching this guy play. And of course that smile.

  24. “It will be strange, to say the least, to see Ward playing for a team other than the Steelers. But no stranger than seeing another guy who entered the league in 1998 inevitably playing for a team other than the Colts.”

    We won’t be seeing him play for another team. Ward can’t play anymore.

  25. Hines is not really washed-up! It is just that the Steeler receiving corp is stacked especially if they re-sign Wallace. I hate to see him go off too another team but wish him the best And it wouldn’t suprise me if when he does retire that the Steelers re-sign him for a day so he can retire as a Steeler. A real class act!

  26. Hines will still score one more TD for the home fans in 2012. In the recent trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises,” Hines runs back a kickoff for home team Gotham Rogues. The kicker is the current Pittsburgh mayor who kicked at Washington and Jefferson, Goodell’s alma mater.

    It was fun having Batman film here last summer and Tom Cruise’s new movie this past fall. Matt Damon just announced for another new movie here. You Pittsburgh haters missed the news that CMU and Paramount just announced a new 300,000 sq ft sound stage…largest outside of L.A. anywhere. Get used to the skyline. We’ve had Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe recently and Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Robert Redford in the past.

    Anyone who saw Hines at the end of the year saw balls clank off his chest and I imagine Todd Haley has been through every offensive play like the Zapruder film. It wouldn’t lie. He’s done.

    Roberto Clemente’s 3000th and last hit was 40 years ago; Hines’ 1,000th and last catch was this year.

  27. nflfan555 says:Feb 29, 2012 7:03 PM

    No Loyalty – They keep Raperslethburger, then dumb the classy guy. Hope you go 2 – 14 like the crappy colts…


    yes, they “dumb” the classy guy. as if you making a rape reference for the 50 millionth time isn’t dumb.


  28. Rapist QB. Domestic violence abusing LB. DUI WR. Organizational steroid abuse that killed players from the 70’s. Ward fit in so well with that classy Steeler organization. Truth hurts.

  29. vincentbojackson says:
    Feb 29, 2012 7:24 PM
    You don’t have to like Hines, but facts are facts.

    He’s the most decorated receiver for the most decorated franchise in NFL history.

    With all that decorating experience, maybe Martha Stewart should sign him.

  30. @cordellgc and @card magnet. You both are obviously uneducated. Hines career achievements speak for themselves so I don’t have to go there, but T.O. He had 3 touchdoqns last game but it is the IFL. Other than those touchdowns he was getting jammed at the line by semi-pro corners all day. As for Randy Moss he is a known quitter and locker room cancer. Do research before posting and looking stupid and foolish next time.

  31. I will remember Heinz getting swept last season, please join a ohio team so we can sweep your ass again!

  32. True fans of football know Hines was a great player whether you love him or hate him. I hate ray lewis and tom brady but know enough about football to know they are great and I respect them as players. Any true football fan can appreciate a good player regardless of how they feel about them.

  33. Love Hines Ward, loved the way he played the game. There are many testaments to him in the comments above, all the Steeler haters hate him. That says it all! Each and everyone of them would have loved him also, if he had spent 14 years having a HOF career with their teams. I will miss him on Sundays but he will be missed more throughout every week in the Steelers locker room. I hope he truly finds peace with being retired because he was a mere shell of the player he used to be. Unfortunately father time caught up to him, he looked slow and very coverable in limited action last season as the year wore on. As for the release this is business as usual for Pittsburgh, they don’t let emotions make personel decisions for them. That is why they are almost always at or near the top of the heap! Go Steelers good luck to Hines in whatever yo do in the future, see you in Canton.

  34. Tim Brown and Cris Carter can’t get in the hall…and they were far better players than Hines.

    He’ll also have a difficult time getting in. Sorry Steelers homers.

  35. If Jon Gruden was still the coach down here in Tampa I could tell you exactly where he would be playing next year but whatever team he goes to will definitely be thankful for the experience he brings, he will show the young bucks how to play 110% with a smile on their face.

  36. I love Hines, and if he lands with another team, I’ll root for him as I always root for former Steelers when they leave the team for other opportunities. But I think he’ll regret this decision. As scripture says, time and chance happen to us all. Although Hines can still perform, his skills have deteriorated significantly in the last year and a half. Otherwise, the Steelers would make a place for him. I think Franco Harris and Emmitt Smith would tell him changing teams at this stage isn’t the wisest move. But I wish him all the best whatever his choice.

  37. If he gets into Canton itll be because art rooney paid someone to put him in there just like a previous poster said Cris Carter and Tim Brown can’t get in and they were much much better and didnt have to purposely hurt other players to make an impact.

  38. Sure gonna miss seeing him in a pittsburgh uniform. 🙁 it’ll be really be bad if he goes somewhere else and is very productive. Goodbye Hines. Good luck for the rest of your career.

  39. Hines ward was never a spectacular receiver, but he will find work after he’s old and washed up, yet T.O. has to play in the IFL and Randy Moss has to take no guaranteed money offers.

    Hines Ward doesn’t have a reputation for drama or “quit.” He’s just a jerk.

  40. @ernst90 says …

    If he gets into Canton itll be because art rooney paid someone to put him in there …

    You may not be aware of it, but the Rooneys are the least wealthy of the NFL owners. So they’re the least likely to be raining money on HoF voters, officials, or anyone else 🙄 Just because you don’t like an organization doesn’t mean the owners pay for the team’s accolades. That’s schoolyard thinking.

    I don’t believe Hines belongs in the Hall ahead of Cris Carter and Timmy Brown. But Peter King of SI–who has a HoF vote–makes a good argument about why Hines does deserve consideration. The game is about more than amassing stats. At least make a stab at understanding that before you put down a guy who’s had a tremendous impact on the game.

  41. Again, Steelers haters that operate without a lick of intelligence just spewing crap on the message board.
    Hines was not a dirty player, football is meant to be where you keep your head on a swivel at all times and if you got lit up, you got lit up. He played the game the way it was meant to be played with blocking violently, but within the rules, for his teammates running the ball behind him.

  42. You can lament teams letting players like Ward go in ‘Today’s game’, but it’s because of ‘Today’s game’ that their careers are extended. Decades ago, Ward would have retired a Steeler a few years ago with the harder hits and less medical treatment, instead of desperately trying to cling on.

  43. And denigrating Lynn Swann is ridiculous because he was willing to accept the vicious hits he received going over the middle. Fans of other teams are just jealous because their teams’ receivers didn’t have guys with the athleticism and balance to control their bodies in the air that Swann had.
    Hines is a legitimate Hall of Fame player, nobody ‘paid off’ the Hall of Fame voters for him to eventually get in there. What garbage I’m seeing other people post.

  44. redguy12588 says: Feb 29, 2012 7:05 PM

    He wants to go out on top, but that’s hard for anyone to do.

    Michael Strahan


  45. It’s unusual to see WRs lead locker rooms but Ward was that guy for the Steelers. I don’t think Pittsburgh undervalued his leadership though if they did, they’ll know soon enough.

  46. To everyone bitching about Moss and Owens, there is a HUGE difference. If he gets another deal it’s because he earned it. What this shows is simple, all the talent in the world can’t make up for being an ass. He never threw people under the bus, never cried about money, and never once gave up on his team. Not a Steelers fan, but the man is a living example of doing it right. I wouldn’t mind him in Carolina as a mentor, with Smith, to our young players. If you really wouldn’t want him on your team’s roster, you’re an ignorant fool.

  47. caseyanthonymunoz says:Feb 29, 2012 8:02 PM

    Rapist QB. Domestic violence abusing LB. DUI WR. Organizational steroid abuse that killed players from the 70′s. Ward fit in so well with that classy Steeler organization. Truth hurts.
    Not as bad as being a Bengal fan.

  48. Hmm, let’s see, a once very good player past his prime and looking for a new team.

    Hey Hines you have two calls: Woody Johnson from the JETs and Dan Snyder from the Redskins. Who would you like to talk to more.

  49. Here’s to Hines — a class act and the toast of the Steelers for over a decade! What’s so special about Hines is just about everything …. especially his efforts off the field in regard to bi-racial children. Hate to say it but his charisma on DWTS resulted in the show’s highest ratings season to date! Hines just has that something that you don’t find on many players! I have no doubts he will land on his feet and flourish where ever he goes…wouldn’t be surprised if it is in broadcasting or some form of entertainment.

    DUIs can happen to anyone – Bet most of us can name a friend or two that has been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  50. Hines Ward leveled the playing field for offensive players versus defensive players. If you’re a WR, TE, or third down back running across the middle of the field, you damn well better have your head on a swivel. If you don’t, a DB or LB would knock you out and jump up and parade around like they’re a WWE wrestler.

    But if you were a DB or LB playing against the Steelers for the last decade, you better be aware of where you were on the field when playing against the Steelers. You’re just as likely to get ear-holed as you were to ear-hole an offensive player. Ward got killed in the middle of the field as anyone, and you never saw him complain. Never called for a flag.

    The guy was a true warrior. I remember Brian Billick saying “Did I hate Hines Ward? Sure I did. Would I want him on my team? Absolutely.”

  51. There are a dozen receivers with better stats than Ward still waiting to be admitted to the hall. Just look at the numbers. And by the time you get through Moss and T.O. going in, you will have another wave of Larry Fitzgerald and piers getting lined up. Good player but not a HoF receiver.

  52. As a Ravens fan, I’m still really going to miss Hines being in this rivalry. Although I do consider him a cheap shot player, and I know he gets away with hits that any other player wouldn’t, he’s always played hard, and been good for the game for the most part. Seeing him get in McCallister and Reed’s face, grabbing the facemasks, and that freaking annoying smile across his face really did make me appriciate the rivalry.

  53. @ theysone ward has two superbowl rings, the mvp of superbowl 40. Tim brown and cris carter has zero, with carter not even been to a superbowl. All three of them will make it to the hof. Ward will get there quicker than those two.

  54. Don’t like the Steelers, But you have to respect them. Hine Ward… How can you not like and respect him. Have a great future where ever and what ever you do!!!

  55. ESPN Radio reports that he’s likely to end up in Jacksonville. Could bring Blaine Gabbert much needed receiver help.

  56. I hope he stays in the AFC North so he can get his ass kicked AGAIN & AGAIN!

  57. cereal blogger says:Feb 29, 2012 9:37 PM

    Its over Pittsburgh,,,get ready for 10 years of Ravens AFC N titles
    Lol………..You’d better draft a quarterback first…..

  58. Just a matter of time before the Pats pick him up. He may not be the fastest but he is a great blocker, good hands, and is a veteran. He will show a lot of people he can still be a threat and contribute to a team. Plus, he will be dirt cheap, just how the Patriots do it.

  59. To all you Steeler Haters out there – every single one of you would want Hines Ward on your team. Truthfully, I think that the Steelers making room for Mike Wallace is a huge mistake. The man is fast, I’ll give you that, but the second half of this season he dropped a number of balls, couldn’t run the right routes, etc. Antonio Brown is the best of the Steelers’ receivers. Look for the Steelers to clean house for a wide receiver who will go the same way other big money players go, get the money and play like crap. Players like Hines Ward are hard to come by these days – he gives 110% every single game, takes on whatever role the coaching staff asks him to, and more than that – he is a valuable mentor for the young receivers. I hope a team picks up Hines Ward, they will be the better for it. I am just sad that the Steeler Nation will not see his smiling face next season.

  60. It’s funny how Steeler fans are desperate for Hines Ward to retire. I think it would be pretty funny if he signed with the Ravens.

  61. Ward would instantly be the most talented WR in Jacksonville the moment his plane landed at Jacksonville International Airport.

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