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|
"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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