FanDuel - WFBC

March 20, 2012

Hines Wards Retires 'a Steeler for Life': After being released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver Hines Ward has decided to retire rather than sign on with another team. "Today I am officially retiring as a Pittsburgh Steeler," said Ward, who turned 36 two weeks ago. "And as much as I will miss football, my teammates, coaches and everything about the game, I donít want to play in any other uniform."

posted by rcade to football at 01:18 PM - 19 comments

Glad to see him chose to walk away then spend a year as a #3 or #4 on some other team. He was great for the Steelers and great for this city. Overall, a real class guy. Thank you Hines, you exemplified what Steelers football is. You will be missed and not forgotten.

posted by Debo270 at 01:24 PM on March 20

Class act. Glad it ended this way. Hope he ends up being the WR coach for the Steelers for years to come.

posted by scully at 01:52 PM on March 20

Agreed. It would be wrong to see him wearing any other jersey, IMO.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:08 PM on March 20

Really, a class act? His peers may disagree with that assertion. So might the Dekalb County Police. Sorry to beat a dead horse, and I acknowledge that Ward had a great career with many successes, but his on and off field actions aren't exactly consistent with a real class guy.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:16 PM on March 20

I would not describe "the toughest player in the league, when no one's looking" as a class act. But choosing to retire as a Steeler out of love for the fans and the team was a classy move.

posted by rcade at 02:27 PM on March 20

I was just about to post the same quote, rcade.

I think there is a good chance that no others teams would have wanted him anyway.

posted by bperk at 02:28 PM on March 20

Not buying the class act tag with Ward here either.

The role he played on Steeler teams contributed to their success and it's fitting he retired a Steeler.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:31 PM on March 20

I would say "class act" as in the the way he chose to retire. He thanked the fans, the team, the Rooneys. There was no snark, swipes at his team mates or coach or town where he played the last 14 yrs.

I would really hate to have some of you guys on a jury if I was on trial.

/biased :P

posted by steelergirl at 03:21 PM on March 20

I would say "class act" as in the the way he chose to retire. He thanked the fans, the team, the Rooneys. There was no snark, swipes at his team mates or coach or town where he played the last 14 yrs.

No argument there. He did retire with class.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:18 PM on March 20

I'm probably veering into hater territory here, but who bashes their team when they retire? Absent Favre, most players seem to retire without any drama whatsoever.

posted by bperk at 09:14 PM on March 20

As a player I believe Ward had a reputation of being one of the dirtiest players in the league, certainly one of the dirtiest receivers. He had a rep of cheap shots but in some circles (like Pittsburgh) there is a pretty fine line between hard nose football and unnecessary roughness. In any case he was a big weapon and clutch player for the Steelers.

Nice to claim Steeler loyalty, which could land him a job with the Steelers, or as a commentator in Pittsburgh, but I would only believe he can't wear another uniform out of loyalty, when he turns down a decent contract from another team to retire a Steeler. Frankly I doubt any teams were interested enough and his decision to retire a Steeler was more of necessity than loyalty.

posted by Atheist at 10:43 AM on March 21

Ward's a 36-year-old who caught 85 touchdowns, including 13 the past three seasons. He was going to get a deal somewhere. The Jaguars love to sign guys like him to bolster a pathetically weak receiver corps.

posted by rcade at 10:55 AM on March 21

He had a precipitous decline. Only three of those TDs were in 2011, and he was averaging 3 receptions for 25 yards a game. Bolster your receiving corps with a younger WR who has a higher ceiling. The Jaguars are one of the younger teams in the league. Plus, his minimum salary based on his number of years in the league is pretty high - more than he's worth.

posted by bperk at 11:13 AM on March 21

Do you guys seriously think he would not have gotten an offer from another team? Look at some of the receivers the Patriots have brought in this year (Brandon Lloyd to one side): Anthony Gonzalez, Donte' Stallworth Part 2. Hines Ward is a possession receiver, not a burner.

He had a precipitous decline.

How can you tell the difference between "precipitous decline" and a situation where he got hurt which allowed the Steelers to discover they had two fantastic receivers who were better than Ward which cost Ward playing time and opportunities? You've got a better eye than me.

posted by yerfatma at 11:39 AM on March 21

I don't think it is far-fetched to believe that he would not have gotten another offer or only unappealing offers. There aren't that many teams in the market for an old possession wide receiver.

Yeah, well, his injuries don't explain his decline from '09 to '10.

posted by bperk at 12:22 PM on March 21

Steelers have 2 fantastic receivers? I know they have a good tight end ...

It's more about Ward's decline than the Steelers identifying new players at the position. From what I saw the last few years it was time for him to retire, and I doubt anyone would offer him a roster position for the upcoming season.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:42 PM on March 21

How can you tell the difference between "precipitous decline" and a situation where he got hurt ... ?

I was wondering the same thing. One off year isn't always a precipitious decline.

Amusingly enough, Ward's 46 receptions last season would have led the Jaguars and Broncos.

posted by rcade at 12:50 PM on March 21

Steelers have 2 fantastic receivers? I know they have a good tight end ...

The Steelers receiving corps of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders is better than many other NFL teams.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:03 PM on March 21

As a Pittsburgher and Steelers fan, the decine was obvious. His injury opened the door for Antonio Brown, but Brown took advantage of that opening. Ward is still a great possession threat, but u dont pay that kind of money for a possesion "red zone" guy. And yes, he was a class guy, I still have no problem with his play. he was a physical guy that definatly walked the fine line, but i think the biggest issue other players had was you dont expect a receiver to clean your clock. EH also did a TON for the community, He was involed in lots of charity work in Pittsburgh and even more in Korea working with people who are discriminated against.
I can understand where the "dirty " thing comes from, but I really didnt see it and I have probably watched 95% of the games he played in his career. He was alwasy a little bit of a media whore, but that is my only real compalaint.

posted by Debo270 at 01:04 PM on March 21

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