Steelers To Release Hines Ward is reporting this afternoon that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be releasing veteran wide receiver Hines Ward prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar which is a week from Tuesday. It has long been speculated following the end of the 2011 season that Ward would not be retained in 2012. Steelers President Art Rooney II told the “Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998 and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve. He has meant so much to this organization, both on and off the field, and we appreciate his efforts over the past 14 years. Hines’ accomplishments are numerous, and he will always be thought of as one of the all-time great Steelers. We wish him nothing but the best.”

Ward spent all of his 14 seasons in the NFL with the Steelers after they drafted him in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL draft out of Georgia. Ward played in 217 regular season games for the black and gold and recorded 1000 receptions for 12,083 receiving yards. He also totaled 85 career regular season receiving touchdowns for the Steelers. He was voted to the Pro Bowl four times during his time in Pittsburgh and was named the MVP of Super Bowl XL.

Despite his willingness to renegotiate his contract, the Steelers have chosen to move on. He was under contract through the 2013 season and scheduled to count $4.61 million against the 2012 salary cap. His termination will create a dead money charge in 2012 of $1.22 million, so the Steelers will essentially save $3.39 against the 2012 cap.

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  • Eric87

    well this sucks. Hines Ward was hands down my favorite steeler ever and hope he has success in whatever else he decides to do. Best blocking receiver ever!

  • 🙁

  • Joe D

    Smith is next….
    then Farrior…
    then Kemo…

  • they have to clear cap so there might be a possibility he’ll come back after they clear cap. if not go to atlanta and make dat money

  • Eric87

    The steelers prob wouldn’t have released the statement they made if they had intended on bringing hines back. He will sign somewhere, hopefully not in the division or the patriots though, that would be blasphemous.

  • indpa67

    I was glad to hear that the Steelers had a discussion with Hines before actually releasing him. He deserved at least that much. He has been one of the greatest Steelers ever. I hope the number 86 is unofficially retired.

  • Heathicus

    Sad to see him go, but it is for the best for our team. He only hurt the team when he was lined up last year and it was hard to watch him fall off like that.

  • JerryCola

    An inenvitable outcome that had to be done that should be the start of other veterans being released to get Mike Wallace signed.

  • kevin

    I doubt they will bring him back if they release him. It would be cheaper just to renegotiate down to the veteran minimum.

  • Ct

    this is not right!! hines can still help this team&he has been a quality player for the steelers, doing whatever they ask for 14 years for them to so easily release him! surely they can work out something so he can play this year and retire as a steeler as he has wanted. my husband&i hav been lifelong steeler fans & this is exteremely disappointing! steelernation needs to make some noise about this & let the steelers know THIS IS WRONG!!!!!!!

  • greeny

    very sad day. wish they would of kept him at min. salary to groom the young wr’s and help block since they will be running more.

  • Mr. Callen D’Angelo

    Thank you Mr. Hines Ward for the effort, the professionalism, the championships and for being one of the greatest offensive players in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Considering all of the success the Steelers have had since the early 1970’s, that is quite an honor for you to have achieved such status as compared to many who have come before you. You will be sorely missed, and will always be a hero to those who bleed black and gold!! Safe travels and nothing but love and respect to you and your family sir!!

  • Steven V. Surawski

    Sorry, but to keep the Steelers strong we need the right mix of players. It’s sad but
    this is a young man’s game and older players do get released. You want to make the playoff’s next year, right? Hines did nothing last season.

  • Grayson

    Ihe was the best wide receiver in the NFL he has been acused of hitting defenders on there blind side but it’s not true he was amazing and when I heard he retired I was mad because I did my school report on him and read it to my class and the day after that he retired

  • steelerfan

    if the organization has so mucch good to say about ward, and who doesn’t, then lets keep him. He still is a play-maker