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Hines Ward to be released

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by domaug, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Wardismvp

    Wardismvp Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    Sad sad day, I was afraid this was coming. Why can't there be any happy stories when it comes to the Steelers? I still thought he could make a contribution this year.
    And to think they will keep Hampton over Ward? This is funny, Hampton is as lazy
    as they come, and Ward was over achiever.bIg motor We will miss you Hines,
    Thanks for the memories.
  2. Thigpen82


    Oct 17, 2011
    If he bleeds black and gold, his FA options seem to be limited to the Saints...

    I agree with the idea that the Ravens may take him. Heck, even Cinci might take a punt, given they have young talent at receiver who could do with a mentor. But at the same time, I don't see Ward doing a Woodson on us. Not because of heart, but because seeing out your career at Safety is different to WR. Given the rule changes to privilege the passing game, there have been a plethora of young WR talent emerging around the league.

    Probably my main concern right now is how this will affect the locker room. If Farrior doesn't come back, we're losing a lot of the big "leaders" of the team next season. SOmetimes that's good (Faneca and Porter were both more hindrances than helps just before they were released). I wonder who will step into their shoes, though?
  3. Thigpen82


    Oct 17, 2011
    Thought I would just echo this sentiment as well.

    The main thing I used to love about Hines when he played wasn't just the hard hitting. It was the smile - you could see how much it riled up the defence. Better than any silly "signature celebration" like other WRs try. Back when I used to play a bit more sport, I always used to try and do the same, smiled at them all the time, and it really worked getting the opposition pissed off. Just a shame I could never back it up with any talent...
  4. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2011
  5. traceman

    traceman Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    Did anyone else notice how easily and often he was getting his "bell rung" this past season? I could be way off base here, but I wonder if he isn't having trouble with concussions and just doesn't want to stop playing. If this is the case, maybe the Steelers had his health in mind when they released him.
    Still gonna miss seeing him out there and that smile he kept on his face. Best of luck Hines.
  6. BLACKnGOLDsince72

    BLACKnGOLDsince72 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    You weren't wrong. If it was any other organization Hines wouldn't have even suited up last year when they realized he'd lost a step let alone give him the opportunity to hit the 1K receptions mark. If he'd have stayed he'd have seen even less playing time this coming year and for me seeing him sitting on the bench every game would have been even more painful than the team releasing him this year. I'm old enough to remember all of our great ones leaving. Some retiring and others going to different teams just to fizzle out being constantly reminded and ridiculed by the media that they should have just retired out, Woodson being one of the few exceptions. Guys or should I say warriors like Hines are a rare breed. Unfortunately though those traits that make them rare and exceptional players seem to also make them want to keep playing the game even though their bodies just aren't up to it anymore. Sure he could have come back but for what, to sit the pine and possibly have a few catches here and there? No thanks. I'd prefer to remember the Hines Ward that helped make the Steelers great, a real impact player. Not the guy who rode the bench and never smiled again and that's what we would have witnessed. He will be missed but never forgotten.
  7. Coke Oven

    Coke Oven Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Limas Sweed shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence as the great Hines Ward.
  8. Coke Oven

    Coke Oven Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    "Sure he could have come back but for what, to sit the pine and possibly have a few catches here and there?"

    No, to go and beat the crap out of Ed Reed.
  9. punkneater

    punkneater Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2011
    I saw this coming. I'm sure it was a tough decision for the Steeler organization to make. It was clear last season that they were phasing him out with the hope that he would retire on his own. Alas, it didn't work out that way-- which is a testament to Hine's endurance. Sure, he's prob got a few more years of football left in him, but I look for him NOT to be signed by another team, and I bet he will announce his official retirement before the next season starts.
  10. BLACKnGOLDsince72

    BLACKnGOLDsince72 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    He'd have to be on the field to do that though and at 4th or 5th on the depth chart that wouldn't have been likely ;)
  11. FeartheBeard

    FeartheBeard Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    :clapping: Its about loyalty. I love the people on here who are "glad he was cut".....apparently you haven't been a Steeler fan for very long. Business decision or not this HURTS big time.
  12. truckin9999

    truckin9999 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    THURSDAY, 01 MARCH 2012 07:53

    Good morning,
    March begins with the Steelers tossing aside another of their great ones who declined to go calmly. And now we all get to watch the show and drama that should go with it as Hines Ward tries to find another job.
    He’s not the first one. Joey Porter did it, and he should have sent the Steelers a thank you note because he made a bundle more in Miami, although he did miss out on another Super Bowl ring. Alan Faneca did it. And there are many more, including Hall of Famers, who have done it.
    Ward wants to play somewhere and he will carry the biggest chip on his shoulder of his career as he tries to find a place to land. He has something to prove, again. He wants to show everyone that he can still play, that he’s not done, that there’s still life in that soon-to-be 36-year-old body.
    We will find out soon enough if there is.
    But let’s examine what happened between him and the Steelers, why it came to this.
    There is still room on the roster for Ward. Even if they somehow keep both of their free agent wide receivers, Mike Wallace and Jerricho Cotchery. But Mike Tomlin did not want him back for whatever reasons and that was that (notice the lack of comments by the coach in the Steelers' statement on the release of Ward, only Art Rooney had anything to say about him).

    They felt last season that Cotchery was better but, mainly because of Ward’s status, they waited until mid-season until they made the change. Then, suddenly, Ward was back in the picture.
    I was told by one player that the word came down from the top to try to get Ward his 1,000 catches, and the coaches did that. Someone else told me that management would have liked to see Ward back for one more season, even if it were as the No. 3 or 4 receiver, but that Tomlin stood firm that he did not want him back. After Bruce Arians was forced out in a very public manner, Art Rooney did not want to force this on the coach too.
    That might have been a bigger disaster – Ward ordered to be put on the roster and Tomlin not wanting him there. Ward might have been inactive for much of the season.
    So this one goes to Mike Tomlin, rightfully so. The coaching staff showed what they thought of Ward and his ability last season and there probably was no sense forcing another season of Ward on him and his staff, even with a new coordinator.
    But what now for Ward and the Steelers at the wide receiver position?
    Many believe Ward should have retired, and if you remember Aaron Smith’s words late last season when he spoke to a handful of us, he obviously believes so too. He said he could not conceive playing somewhere else, that he would retire if the Steelers told him he could not play anymore. He also said he could not see Ward going elsewhere either.
    Somewhere, though, Ward will find a team that wants him, perhaps many. He still has something to offer as a possession receiver. He’s never been a burner, but he is a tough pro with good hands who can catch a third-and-five over the middle to get the first downs. He may not find a team willing to start him, but there are plenty out there with a lot of room at wide receiver who can use someone of Ward’s stature, perhaps one with several good young receivers and no veteran to show them the way (like the Steelers?).
    And who are we to say Ward should retire? These guys are players and they want to play. There is only so much time for them to do so and then it’s over forever. Even old guys in business suits strip them off for shorts on weekends to play in old-guy basketball games. Let him play.
    Steelers fans want Ward to retire to make THEM feel better. There rarely are farewell tours in this business. Ask Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
    As for the Steelers, they could be a little thin at wide receiver next season. Their best move might be to try to sign one of their receivers right now, and I don’t mean Mike Wallace. Jerricho Cotchery may be gone by March 14. It’s still my belief that Wallace will not get that contract from another team and will remain here in 2012. However, if free agency arrives and Cotchery is not signed, then he should receive other offers and he cannot afford to sit around and wait for the Steelers to give him one.
    So, if Cotchery goes, that leaves Wallace, Aaron Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. That’s not a bad trio to start with. They need to fill in with another veteran, perhaps, a good possession receiver – someone like Ward. If they go young, that’s okay too.
    The one thing this team can absolutely not afford to do, however, is lose both Wallace and Cotchery. With Sanders’ 2011 history of injuries, that could be disastrous.
  13. thorn058

    thorn058 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Who is three and or four? As the Trib and PG have pointed out the team now has two veteran WR's under contract in Brown and Sander(bothered by injuries both years he has been in the league), Cotchery is a FA who wants to stay but the reality is a deal may not get done and Wallace, a RFA who will be tendered because there is no way you can tie up that much cap space while trying to work a long term deal with Wallace that is more cap friendly when there are pressing needs at a variety of positions. The rest of the WR's on the roster are camp fodder or special teamers not exactly the solid core that many claim is there.

    I think we need to stop talking about the depth chart in these discussions because people are looking at the best case scenario which is Wallace is kept and is the top reciever followed by Brown and Sanders with Cotchery being fourth. Reality is they maybe have Wallace/Brown and maybe Sanders stays healthy. Worse case is they end up with just Brown and Sanders, a mid round pick at WR in this years draft and someone they sign off the street. Everyone who is saying Ward has lost a step and would be 5th on the depth chart is basing their evaluation on all the dominoes falling into play and everyone staying healthy. I just don't see all those dominoes falling the way they need to.
  14. SteelByDesign

    SteelByDesign Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    I'm fairly young, 24... but Hines is the first guy that I really have followed his whole career, and he's by far my all-time favorite Steeler. He's ALWAYS been my guy, and I'm really depressed today... but I understand why it's happening.

    I wish the best for Hines, just please don't go to the Ravens. :herewego:
  15. AFan

    AFan Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Hines is a competitor, that is what made him a great player. It is also why he can't see the writing on the wall. Other great competitors : Favre, Montana, Micheal Jordan -- all thought they had something left, that they could still play. And you practically had to drag them off the field/court at the end.

    The great competitor is always the last one to know that the game is over.

    The Steelers don't owe Ward a thing, they made him rich and famous, they bent over backwards to get him his major recieving milestones last year.

    Hines Ward doesn't own the Steelers a thing, he played well and hard for 14 yrs. If he thinks he can still play, more power to him. It's his life, if he wants to take his chances elsewhere, that's his option and he should have no regrets.

    The issue is here that Steeler FANS want to feel better. If Hines announced his retirement in a tearful press conf with Tomlin/Rooney etc, everyone on this board would be overflowing with praise for the last 'class act'. If the Steelers brought him back for the minimum, played him sparingly in 2012, people would be happy about that too.

    But life don't work that way. The happy ending is a rare thing.
  16. Thigpen82


    Oct 17, 2011
    Interesting article, Truckin9999.

    I suppose people were crying out for Tomlin to be more hands on...
  17. freakfontana


    Oct 19, 2011
    if they don't sign wallace cotchery will be signed and we will draft or sign a bigger wr . they cut ward because they said he can't play anymore even at the expens of a young psquad guy
  18. TheSteelHurtin2188

    TheSteelHurtin2188 Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I dont think wallace is going anywhere the wr pool is really deep this year.
  19. Jaxsteeler

    Jaxsteeler Member

    Nov 16, 2011
    I rarely post, I generally just enjoy reading the rest of you alls comments. But this just has me so pissed. I know that it is a business, I know Hines' skills have deteriorated but to release this man after all he has given to this team is absolutly the most dissapointing thing any Rooney has ever done. We all know that Ward played most of last year injured. We do not know and neither do the Rooney's, what he would have been able to contribute this year. And the excuse that he takes up a roster spot of a younger reciever is bull! We have other concerns at reciever than Hines not proving his value to take a spot. He stated that he would basically play for free to retire a Steeler. His hit to the cap could easily have been reduced to basically zero. Do you all remember the dark times, whether it was a lousy QB, or when our current QB was splashed all over the headlines for things that we cannot be proud of? During those times Hines was the constant. We always could and the Steelers always could count on him. To me, as a Steeler Fan for over 45 yrs, this is the worst I have felt about our organization. TOTAL BULL****!!!
  20. Krunch

    Krunch Member

    Nov 22, 2011
    I have a lot of respect for Hines. Probably more than any Steeler since the guys from the seventies.

    Thanks Hines.
  21. TheWanderer

    TheWanderer Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    should a real estate investor continue to hold onto a house that is enduring an abundance of structural problems, depreciating in value, bringing in zero profit, and continues to operate at a loss because he loves the house? maybe it was the first house he invested in or something of that nature. there is a sentimental tie to the investment but it remains a horrible business decision to hold onto it. would you kick his door in with mascara-tears streaming down your face screaming, "where is your humanity?! where is your loyalty?!"

    should a business owner continue to send a seventy-year old salesman out into a protected sales territory as he brings in minimal results when a younger, more ambitious, better skilled salesman could bring in much greater production?

    welcome to the business world.
  22. So Cal Steeler

    So Cal Steeler Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    I'm sorry to see him go. But this is a ruthless business, look at Manning, they're ready to kick him to the curb. It's sad, but a fact of life. He'll probably be a Cardinal in Sept.
  23. TheWanderer

    TheWanderer Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    yeah, arizona seems to be a final resting place for many former 'stars' (emmit smith, dexter manley, boomer esiason, jim mcmahon, alan faneca, etc) and it seems to be the loading dock receiving pittsburgh's aging exports (faneca, porter, haggans, etc). with whiz and grimm still there . . . vegas odds would probably place az at the top.

    it's also been noted that the bears' receivers coach (i think) coached at georgia when hines played there . . .
  24. Ray D

    Ray D Staff Member Mod Team

    Oct 18, 2011
    If he chooses to keep playing, that's the one place he could go that I could live with. At least he'd be finishing out his career with a few friends.

    The thought of seeing him in orange and black, or black and purple... :sick: :swoon: :kapow:
  25. jsinohio

    jsinohio Member

    Oct 18, 2011

    WTF Ed...you don't know "Antonio's" first name!?!?! :frustrated:

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