Former Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward is expected to announce his retirement this afternoon. The Steelers all-time leading receiver was released by the Steelers on February 29th but has drawn little to interest since the start of the NFL free agency period this season. The Steelers have organized a press conference for Noon EST.
Ward, 36, finishes his career with 1,000 receptions, 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. Ward also adds a Super Bowl MVP trophy, winning the award in Super Bowl XL. He played 14 years with the Steelers, and only the Steelers. The Steelers have moved on into another direction with their receiving corps, adding younger and faster pass catchers.
Hines Ward had a large salary cap number for the 2012 season and with the Steelers struggling with salary cap issues, he was released. Ward had hoped to return to the Steelers for another season, offering to take a pay cut, but the team has obviously moved on. Ward lost his starting job this season and was buried on the team’s depth chart by the end of the regular season.Ward just put his Georgia home up for sale.
UPDATE- Hines Ward’s press conference is underway and he has announced his retirement. He said that there was some interest from other teams but he couldn’t see himself playing for any other team other than the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ward also said after his written statement that he told WR Mike Wallace how special playing for the Steelers is and that he hopes Wallace will remain with Pittsburgh.