Hines Ward has been saying from day one that he wants to retire as a member of the Steelers.
It’s sounding more and more like he’s not going to get the chance.
The record setting wide out for the Steelers, and Super Bowl XL MVP is on the verge of being with the team no longer according to Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com.
La Canfora cites unnamed sources in its report concerning the veteran receiver.
As the Steelers work to restructure contracts and manuever below the salary cap, the circumstances are dictating the twilight of Ward’s 14-year career. On the books, he has one year and $4 million left on his current contract. On the field, Ward also took a backseat to youngsters Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, posting his lowest receiving totals since his rookie season in 1998.
The Steelers have adjusted the contracts of CB Ike Taylor and linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley. They might not be done, as La Canfora suggested S Troy Polamalu ($6.25 million next season) and QB Ben Roethlisberger ($11.6) could be next.
Ward has left the window open to playing elsewhere next season, but the choice might not be his if he can’t work out his own restructured deal.
There’s no doubt that there’s going to be a lot of backlash at the team if Ward does end up getting released, and Steelers fans might as well get ready for it if the reports from LaCanfora are indeed true.