View Full Version : Ward seeks contract discussion

07-26-2005, 12:07 AM
Ward seeks contract discussion
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With talks for a new contract going nowhere, Hines Ward plans to pay a visit to the Steelers' offices this week to discuss his situation with his coaches and possibly management.

Agent Eugene Parker declined to say yesterday whether Ward would report to training camp with the rest of his teammates Sunday night at St. Vincent College in Latrobe. Parker would not discuss the negotiations between himself and the Steelers on a contract extension for Ward, who is signed through the 2005 season. The Steelers also declined comment.

Ward planned to boycott the start of training camp a year ago to protest his contract situation, but changed his mind after coach Bill Cowher placed a phone call to him a day before camp opened. Ward will earn a salary of $1,668,750 this season -- the same as '04 -- on a contract he signed before the 2001 season.

Ward has made the past four Pro Bowls -- more than any Steelers receiver in history -- and he eclipsed the Steelers previous record of 85 receptions in a season three times. Yet his salary cap value of $2,171,950 last season ranked 37th among the NFL's wide receivers.

Ward, 29, does not necessarily want to be the highest-paid receiver in the game but wants to be among them, according to a source close to him.

Randy Moss led the parade of wide receivers last season with a salary cap value of $8,882,727, with Marvin Harrison second at just over $8 million. Only three other receivers topped the $7 million salary cap list in 2004 -- Isaac Bruce, Eric Moulds and Terrell Owens.

After Ward made waves about his relatively low pay last year, Steelers president Art Rooney publicly promised to make him a priority in 2005.

"We said he'd be our priority and that's still the case," Rooney said at the NFL meetings in March. "In terms of signings, I would expect that should be our big signing."

Yet five days before players report to camp, not only is there no contract, there has been little progress. Roosevelt Barnes, Parker's associate, spoke with the Steelers yesterday about Ward, the first time in about a month any talks took place at all between them. No progress was reported. Barnes also represents Steelers draft picks in the second and third rounds, Bryant McFadden and Trai Essex, both still unsigned.

The Steelers have not had a player under contract boycott camp in the past decade. Last year, Plaxico Burress skipped a mandatory May minicamp and all of the team's voluntary spring workouts but reported to training camp on time. He turned down an offer from the team last summer and signed with the Giants as a free agent this year after the Steelers made no contract offer after the season ended.

Steelers players have signed contract negotiations during camp and, at times, right up to the start of the season. The Steelers have a stated policy that they will not negotiate contract extensions once the regular season begins unless the sides are close enough that a deal is imminent.

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05207/543680.stm

Let's get Ward under contract. I don't want to see him wearing any other jersey, but a black and gold one. I'm curious to what the delay is and why there is so little progress with his contract.

07-26-2005, 12:36 AM
He is an IMPORTANT part of the offense. You would think that the Steelers would want to settle a long term contact with him. Quick before someone else starts making offers he can't refuse.

07-26-2005, 12:37 AM
"We said he'd be our priority and that's still the case," Rooney said at the NFL meetings in March. "In terms of signings, I would expect that should be our big signing."

So they still plan on working this deal and getting it done asap according to that statement...remember they still have 6 weeks of training camp and preseason yet, so its not like if it doesnt get done tomorrow, there's no hope or anything.

Agent Eugene Parker declined to say yesterday whether Ward would report to training camp with the rest of his teammates Sunday night at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

He'll be in camp, I'd be totally floored if he sat out part of camp. Parker is trying to push the issue and raise alittle bit of a ruckus by not saying whether he'll be there or not. He's not dumb nor is the Steelers front office.

07-26-2005, 12:38 AM
I would think that also pitt. I thought this deal would be done before training camp, but it is not looking that way.

07-26-2005, 12:43 AM
They want to play it smart, they know they were dangerously close to the cap last year, so they have to be smart about it. Its a chess match, who will give in first..but Ward knows he has the upper hand alittle bit because of what he means to the Ben, the team itself, the city etc.

The last thing u want to do is take away a 2nd year QB's 2 biggest weapons all at one time. the steelers know this, and they'll get it done in the end.

07-26-2005, 05:21 AM
At least Mr.Rooney still feels like this is priority No.1.

But if he cosidered holding out last year. I wouldn`t put it past him this year. I beleive like everyone else, that Hines is a team player. But like we always hear, this is a business.

Steel Fury
07-26-2005, 08:46 PM
maybe now with miller taken care of we will see some quick work and get ward taken care of.

I can't imagine camp without ward.

07-26-2005, 08:47 PM
I am hoping the same Steel. Maybe their just waiting to get all the draft picks signed. Not sure.

07-27-2005, 06:17 AM
I agree with all of you...I just wish they would get it done already.

07-27-2005, 10:11 AM
Not to worried. If it was a rookie then he would be missing something. But Ward knows the playbook and such so he actually could show up a week later and not have a big impact. Heck, Jerome usually doesn't strat suiting up and playing until end of August.

07-27-2005, 12:02 PM
I was watching Sports Center today and they said that Hines Ward WILL NOT report to training camp without a deal. I am really surprised and dissapointed that the Steelers haven't signed him yet. They had Bill Cowher on FSN on Monday and he said that there was nothing bidg to say about Hines, they was still no contract. If Hines Ward does not get a contract, I will be extremely upset because Hines is a VERY important part of our offense, and he was a big part of our success last year and if we lose him, I really don't think we will be as successful as we were last year.

P.S. SIGN HINES WARD!!!! :hope: :yep:


07-27-2005, 12:08 PM
I read an article that said they are trying to sign Bryant McFadden, Trai Essex, and Hines Ward before training camp. I would hope to see him signed this week or a few days after training camp has started. If that will happen I'm really not sure.

07-27-2005, 10:54 PM
Do we know how much he is asking?

07-27-2005, 11:21 PM
I haven't heard how much he's looking for.

07-28-2005, 10:24 PM
I heard that he wants what he thinks he is worth, which he says is about 10 million. I don't know if that is for each year, or for an extended amount of time. But I am thinking its 10 million a year. :o


07-28-2005, 10:29 PM
Hines is the kind of guy, or so we all think/thought, that if he does hold out for awhile, and he ends up seeing his team mates going into battle without him, I would think that would be enough to bring him around to atleast get in camp and get ready for the season. This is NOT a distraction we need right now with the potential we have for this year.

07-28-2005, 11:15 PM
interesting view on wards situation..from the front page of SF !

From what I have read, Ward is looking to make roughly $25 million over the first 3 years of the deal. Is Ward a great receiver? No question. Is he worth over $8 million a year? Don't think so. If you want to disagree, think of it this way.

I have said numerous times, if Ward were 4 inches taller, everyone would be comparing everyone else to Ward. He is the best blocking WR in the game. Plays like a linebacker when there is an interception. He always makes plays when we need them. He also plays on an NFL team that runs the ball. A LOT!

Pittsburgh is known because they play smash-mouth football. Beat you up, kick you in the teeth defense, and then ram the ball down your throat on offense. We win because we control the clock. Run on 1st, run on 2nd, then run on 3rd, and if you're close, run on 4th.

If we pay Ward more than we offered him, that money is going to have to come from another position. Which one? QB? No chance. If there is going to be a player that gets a larger contract than Ward was offered, it is going to be Ben Roethlisberger in about 4 years. Money can't come from there. RB? Jerome Bettis is making next to nothing and Duce Staley is going to be our RB for at least another 3 years, sorry. TE? Not paying them that much, Heath Miller is just a rookie. It will have to come from the offensive line, which really can't afford to lose anyone else. Marvel Smith and Alan Faneca, no way, forget it. Jeff Hartings? Maybe, we do have Chukky Okobi waiting for Hartings to retire. To take away from an offensive line that has already lost 2 of last years starters, when you're a running team, that just can't happen. But even if they do have a solution for this year, what about next? You can not afford to pay someone that kind of money to only touch the ball 20% of the snaps.

I understand what the Steelers are doing. They are trying to copy the mold of the New England Patriots, and who can blame them? 3 out of the last 4 is hard to argue with. Ward needs to realize that he isn't going to get offered much more than he has been. Hopefully, Ward will pick the chance to compete for the Super Bowl for the next 5 years over the chance to collect a few more million dollars.

It is Ward decision. Hopefully, he will choose the black and gold over the green.

07-29-2005, 02:38 PM
let him sit out, 10 to 12 million for a possesion receiver is way too much. everyday he sits he losses money. let him sit out and he will be back by week six or eight, i forget which week they must return before they forfet the season but i think its eight. so he plays a half of season with us and the playoffs then we franchise his sorry but next and he still is not a free agent. that way in his greed he misses out on the real big money. the signing bonus. i believe everybody has a right to earn money, but to turn down the most lucrative contract offer in steeler history and then say its not enough spits in the face of everybody who has ever cheered for the steelers. it only backs what i have come to believe that in the modern era of sports that i am a fan of the steelers not plaxico, big ben, or hines ward - i am a fan of the black and gold - the pittsburgh steelers...

07-29-2005, 05:29 PM
Unless they make significant progress or reach a deal in principle, yeah he'll probably sit out for awhile. HInes is more thick skinned than people believe. But he also has a team concept at heart, and knows what his presence on the field means to this team. Not to mention Jerome's probable last year playing and if he wants to help him win a SB, u cant do that at home sitting on your couch watching the game over money.

He'll hold out for awhile, yah maybe so, but he'll come around.