Friday evening Jason La Canfora reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers do not intend to bring back veteran wide receiver Hines Ward for the 2012 season, but Scott Brown from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports via Twitter today that Ward\’s representatives have yet to hear from Steelers. Ward has a clause in his contract that says he has to be let known his status for 2012 by March 1st. He has long said that he wants to continue to play for the Steelers, and that he is willing to take a pay cut to do so.
The Steelers still have over two plus weeks to let Ward know his status, and one would speculate that they already know whether or not they want him back in 2012. If indeed the report from La Canfora is correct, the Steelers owe Ward at least the courtesy to let him and his representatives know his status before word got out through the media. They do not owe him another year if they do not think he fits in their 2012 plans, but out of respect he should be told up front in my opinion.
Ward has two years left on his contract and is scheduled to earn a $4 million base salary in both 2012 and 2013. Cutting Ward now will save the Steelers $3.39 million against the 2012 salary cap. Stay tuned as this is far from over.