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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: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 12:09 am

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Love him as a Steeler but his time has come. Ever since getting knocked out in the New England game in Pittsburgh during the 2010 season, his play has gone downhill fast. I love the guy for how he played the game. I wish he could teach the young guys but it is too late for that. They don't listen and play like him.

The main reason that the Steeler running game has decreased in effectiveness over the last two years is because defenders do not fear the Steeler receiver blocking abilities. They are terrible at blocking and no defenders run to the ball with their heads on a swivel. With Hines Ward, the defenders were usually a half step slow getting to the ball for fear of getting shallacked while matriculating to the ball carrier.

Hines, you are the man's man. However, it is time to retire and take care of your body. Too many head and hard shots since New England brother. Keep your head high, you have done well.

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:44 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Well, Dr. Jellyfinger, I don't know if this story "sucks"--there was the question of his retirement when Pittsburgh was upset in Denver--but yeah, the point is that the Steelers can do anything they want and Ward is now reduced to begging.  That's news.
Does he have anything left?  It'd be odd to see him in another uniform to find out--and a bad team wouldn't help.  In the end, the news is also this: Ward faded from glory and, after talking retirement for a season or two, now won't take his own hint. 

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:24 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

I applaud Ward for wanting to remain a Steeler ... I just wish we didn't have to always read about the player's contract.

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:11 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Why doesn't he just retire?
Nothing he'll achieve in the next season or two will put him over the hump for the hall.
Keep some dignity Hines, retire.

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:32 pm

Ward says he'll take paycut to stay in PIT

Steelers could just cut him, it's not like Ward is a top WR giving up money to stay in town. Unless I'm missing something this story sucks.

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