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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.

Since: May 25, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:05 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Hines Ward is a great player with more talent and heart than most in the NFL. I would love to see the Patriots pick up Hines as a wide receiver. They would pay him more than just a handout. Ward was never a fast receiver, but he knows how to run routes and get open to help his QB.  He is also one who would give you 110% effort to catch the ball thrown anywhere near him,  and he usually does. I'm certain Tom Brady would love to have him on the receiving end of some of his passes. I can't imagine the Steelers giving up on Hines. he is one of the most talented, if not the classiest player on a team that has a few bums in their lineup.

Since: Jan 12, 2012
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:41 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Flacco....REALLY!?  He SUCKS....not sure you want to put him in that discussion! 

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:59 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Hines Ward begging to keep playing, now that's awesome. Short, slower guys are becoming almost obsolete in the NFl with big fast WRs, athletic tight ends and third down backs. I often wondered how the heck he ever caught passes, but he did for a lot of years. I don't know the Steelers roster that well, but quite honestly, based on this year's production, I say no. If he is cut, will he turn up somewhere else because I don't think the production is there for anybody to pay him much adn his loyalty is obviously to Pittsburgh.

As for wanting Roethlisberger as a QB, I don't see a dozen teams wanting him, and that number will be less when this year's draft is done. Who'd take him today, Seattle, Cleveland, St Louis?, Washington, Buffalo, Miami, the Jets, maybe Tennessee, Yeah, he may be better than some other QBs, but money has been committed to many of them already.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:55 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

The Pats pay 6 million bucks for a decoy who fools noone but himself.As for Ward, he's past his prime like Dion Branche,who is 2 years younger than Brady.As long as Ward take's a decent pay cut, Pittsburgh will probably keep him.The Steelers should open with an offer of 12.50 an hour just to make an example of him.Getting old will not be tolerated in this fine organization

Since: Nov 26, 2010
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:48 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

2 Things: Ward is a great WR and where he is willing to play for basically what appears to be any amount they want to pay him and sounds like he'll take any roll, you can't tell me the steelers have 55 other guys they would want more than Ward.  You got 3rd string QB's, 2nd string Kickers/Punters, you wouldn't want Ward over one of those guys... please (and I don't even like the steelers).

Now on Ben as my QB, well certainly not in NE, we already have a far superior QB over Ben.  And yes I would say there are 5-10 teams that would love to have Ben, but that's about it, there are 10-15 QB's playing in the league right now better than Ben and at least 5 young guns who I would rather have than Ben.  He's a legit QB, but if I have my choice of any QB to play on my team I'm not sure he breaks into my top 20 (right now).

Since: Sep 21, 2010
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:16 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

if he wants to play so bad perhaps he should pay them to roster him.  Don't get me wrong, I like and have always liked Ward. But c'mon, man, this cat is well past his time. He's in denial and all he'd do is take a job from somebody who needs it. Besides, why would the Steelers pay anything to keep a decoy around?

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:10 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Being a football fan, how could you not love Hines Ward?  Never the fastest player on the field or the most talented, there wasn't a team that wouldn't have taken him.  And that includes the Ravens.  Any Steelers fan who isn't applauding him for wanting to take a lesser role, accepting less money and wanting to retire as a Steeler is completely clueless.  In the world of diva receivers and money grubbing players, Ward is a class act.

And anyone who doesn't want Ben as their teams QB is an idiot.  Off field issues aside.

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:45 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

I too would hate to see Hines Ward in another uniform.  He is a Steeler.  If they don't want to keep him around to mentor the young receivers, which I think they should, he should just retire.  I'm not saying he's on the same level, but it would be as awkward as seeing Jerry Rice in any of those other uniforms he put on at the end of his career.  Some guys are the face of their franchise - Hines is to the Steelers offense as Ray Lewis is to the Ravens Defense. 

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: January 12, 2012 12:15 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Have U lost Your Mind somewhere? All Hines Ward has is a yardage passing Oaf of a QB#7 which is nothing compared to having a Manning or a Flacco or a Rogers as your QB. Steelers shoulda traded the Oaf QB#7 before his stock fell this low--can you name a team who'd take Roethlisberger today?

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: January 12, 2012 12:12 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Every steeler's game was at a lower level this season and next season too..maybe longer. Whatever Hines wants for his career he deserves to receive. If that oaf #7 QB were to make completable passes instead of racking up passing yards, talent such as Hines Ward might set it is Hines is stuck with the oaf QB. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or