Blog Entry

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:12 pm

By Josh Katzowitz

Here’s how badly Steelers receiver Hines Ward wants to continue playing professional football. Not only does he seem content to play a backup role in the Pittsburgh offense -- which is essentially what he was doing in the second half of the season -- but he also said he’s willing to take a paycut to do it.

He has two seasons left on a contract that is scheduled to pay him $4 million in 2012 and 2013, but if he has to lose some of that money, he’s OK with it.

"I'd probably have to restructure my contract," Ward said, via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "That's fine with me. I recognize that. I'm telling you I want to be here, I'm telling you I'm willing to do that. And I understand the ramifications -- we have the cap number and stuff, but I want to be here."

Steelers season over
If the Steelers want to cut Ward -- who is still a solid slot receiver but whose play fell off in a big way in 2011 -- they’d have to do so by March 1 or guarantee the full 2012 money. But it sounds like Ward, who will be 36 by the beginning of next season, really wants to stay in Pittsburgh. Like, really, really wants to stay.

"Obviously, I was a starter, and then it went the way it did,” Ward said. “That's fine, I don't have a problem with not starting. But I want to play, I want to try to win another Super Bowl. I want to do it for this organization. I want to help this team out. I still think I can help this team, on the field, off the field with the younger guys, still be there for the team. I'm willing to do all that."

And if the Steelers don’t want him back, well, Ward is still not planning to retire. He’ll move on somewhere else.

"I'm just looking year to year, but I do want to play next year,” Ward said. “If they decide to part ways, I'll be devastated, but life's not over. I'm still young.

"My thing is, I want to be a Steeler, I'm here, I'm willing to restructure, do whatever. I don't want to be seen in another uniform but, if they decide to part ways, or whatever, I don't know, I'm not even thinking like that. I couldn't even fathom myself [in another uniform], but I still want to play football.”

Even if it's at a reduced clip and a reduced rate.

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Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 2:30 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

I hope the Steelers do right by Ward.  I would love to see him in a Steeler uniform again next year and see him retire as a Steeler.  I for one, like him, cannot imagine him in another team's uniform. 

Make him a Steeler for life.  Not many guys who play that long do that anymore in any sport.

Since: Jan 12, 2012
Posted on: January 12, 2012 2:08 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:21 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

One way or another Ward is going to be taking a pay cut.

Since: Jan 21, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:00 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

The Steelers really need to stick to their guns here and let him depart like so many others. He has done a great job, honestly a better job than his skill set would allow by conventional combine measure. He was never particularly fast, but he went and did it anyway. He run blocking can't be questioned, though his timing and aiming point may. But that was yesterday. Hines Ward is not as effective, and I disagree he would be a #3 for any team. He isn't even a #3 for the Steelers that know him best. His only role now would be to mentor and as a stop gap in the event of injury.

That doesn't take away from fine career, it just is what it is, the end of a fruitful career.

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 12:29 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

      WinMoreGames, your comment contradicts itself.  Roethlisberger doesn't throw completable passes but racks up the passing yards- how is that?  And if you don't think a lot of teams would want him if he was on the free agent market, you're nuts.

      As for Ward, I think if Pittsburgh brings him back it will be at a greatly reduced rate, maybe with some incentives thrown in.  Tomlin talked about changes being made after the Denver game and that may be of higher priority to them than keeping a 36-year old backup receiver.  As a Raven fan, I was certainly no fan of Ward's but I will say he was an outstanding run-blocker (and yes, he was a real agitator, also).  And his body of work as a receiver is definitely HOF worthy.  


Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:56 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

given he's willing to take a pay cut that would equal his reduced role, I don't see how this doesn't happen.  The guy is a solid #3 for any team and a GREAT possession WR.  He's not a #1 or even a #2 any more.  He's 36, always been a bit short, and never a great leaper.  All that said, he is one of the best blocking WR in the game, has great hands, runs great routes and is a positive influence on the younger WRs and the locker room in general.  If you can keep that guy and pay him the league minimum, you HAVE TO DO THAT.  You get a solid possession WR and clutch performer, Ward gets to extend his career, make more money than he would sitting on a couch, and everyone is happy.  I hear about how players get screwed at the end of their careers all the time, but the reality of it is they aren't usually worth top player roles or salaries as they wind down.  More "aging" athletes should look at what Ward is doing and be willing to take money commesurate with their reduced abilities.  Otherwise it shouldn't shock or anger anyone when they get cut or traded so a team can avoid the contract overhang.

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:50 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

I hope the Steelers will restructure his contract and keep him. Hines has always given his all for the Steelers. He is a class act all the way and Im quite certain if you cut him he would bleed black and gold.  He would be worth the money just to mentor the younger recievers and show them the right way to be a reciever in the NFL as opposed to the"diva" recievers who could care less about team play. Steelers do the right thing here.

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:23 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

I'm a Cowboy fan who has watched NFL games with a die hard Steeler fan for the past 15 years and I have to say: I think Hines Ward has been the "Ultimate Warrior" for the Steelers and wish we would have had guys like him on the Cowboys instyead of the loser nut jobs we've had the past 10 years. Hines will go into the NFL HoF and her's one Cowboy has believes he absolutely desrves to do so as well!   

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:00 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Ward, retire while you can still remember who your wife and kids are!

Since: Jan 12, 2012
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:12 am
This comment has been removed.

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