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Prosdo
07-28-2005, 12:24 AM
WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

Thursday, July 28, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Although they have not yet signed Hines Ward to a contract extension, the Steelers at least are trying to fulfill a promise to make their Pro Bowl wide receiver a priority.

The Steelers made Ward an offer that would make him the highest-paid player in their history, a contract that may include their highest signing bonus, according to a source close to the negotiations.

So far, Ward and his agents have turned them down.

The source told the Post-Gazette the offer also would put Ward among a tier of receivers just below several of the highest paid in the league.

The deal would include a signing bonus higher than the $8.1 million quarterback Kordell Stewart received in 1999. Although quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reportedly received a $9 million signing bonus as part of his rookie contract, some analysts peg it closer to $7.8 million in what technically would be a true signing bonus. But even if it were $9 million, the bonus the Steelers have offered Ward is close to it. No other contract details, including length and total, were provided.

Ward and his agents have countered in negotiations that the four-time Pro Bowler should be paid relative to where he ranks among NFL receivers and not based on what the Steelers have paid their players in the past. A number of receivers the past several years have received signing bonuses of more than $10 million. His agents, Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes, have taken a stance that Ward should be paid among the best wide receivers in the game, although they have not asked for him to be the highest paid.

Ward, who has one year left at $1,668,750 on a contract he signed in the summer of 2001, made the past four Pro Bowls and shattered many of the Steelers receiving records during that time. Three times he surpassed the Steelers' previous record of 85 receptions in a season with a high of 112 in 2002. His 505 career receptions are second only to John Stallworth's 537 in club history.

Ward, who lives in Atlanta, is scheduled to make a promotional appearance today in Pittsburgh and also was to talk to some coaches about his situation. Parker has declined to predict whether Ward will report to training camp on time Sunday.

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05209/544972.stm\

Blah not happy to hear this. Hopefully they will come to an agreement.

BB2W
07-28-2005, 12:28 AM
Thanks for the bad news.....kepp it to yourself next time. :poke:

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 12:31 AM
I'm sorry. I read that and just felt bad. We need to sign this guy. I was hoping I would see some news on him being signed, but nope. :shake01:

BB2W
07-28-2005, 12:41 AM
Now there is talk of a hold-out....

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, July 28, 2005

As the football season at long last approaches, there's genuine anticipation brewing on the South Side this week, but it's accompanied by a legitimate sense of apprehension.
Each day that comes and goes without a contract extension for Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward makes it that much more plausible, if not that much more probable, that Ward will be a no-show when training camp opens Sunday.

Only Ward knows for certain if he'll report.

If he's smart, he'll be the first player checking into Rooney Hall.

f he's anywhere but St. Vincent College come Sunday evening, he'll be making a major miscalculation. He'll also be risking what could easily turn out to be a gravy-train association with the Steelers that can last for the remainder of Ward's career and beyond.

Ward has wanted that extension ever since the Steelers bestowed one upon Tommy Maddox prior to the 2004 campaign.

The Steelers politely declined Hines' request, citing Maddox as a rare exception to their policy of not negotiating such deals until a player had just one year remaining on his present agreement.

They also promised Ward he'd be their first priority when it was time to engage in similar discussions prior to this season.

The Steelers have been true to their word on that score, and they've done nothing since but express a heartfelt appreciation of and respect for Ward whenever the subject has come up. They've also been sincere in their efforts to get the deal done, optimistic all along that the deal would get done and steadfast in their belief that the deal had to get done.

It hasn't yet.

Although neither side is divulging the numbers being bandied about, one would have to suspect compensation is the major stumbling block.

Recent history, the Steelers' history since moving into Heinz Field, suggests that the economics will work themselves out eventually as long as both sides remain professional about it. Cornerbacks Dewayne Washington and Chad Scott were two of the most recent but far from the only two players to be richly rewarded by an organization that believed both had earned as much.

Their new deals were announced on reporting day in 2001.

As long as Ward is around for reporting day 2005, a resolution to his present dilemma is inevitable.

Failing that, his dealings with the Steelers will turn problematic if not downright combative, and once that happens, anything's possible, including the 2005 season ending up as Ward's last with the Steelers.

No matter what advice he's getting from his agents, Ward's best option is to show up, do his job and continue being the leader he's always identified himself as being.

Coming off a 15-1 season and heading into one ripe with possibilities, this is no time for distractions and temper tantrums, particularly from a player who has always maintained he puts the team first at all times.

A holdout, conversely, would reveal that while there may be no "i" in team, Ward is acutely aware that you can't spell "Hines" without one.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2005, 12:44 AM
oh this is just spectactular....but this is the STeelers way..they dont care much who else makes alot of money in the league...its all about how much they've paid players in the past and how much higher they are willing to go. The steelers have always been frugal with thier money, but we'll see how much they will be willing to break the bank on Ward.

Yeah thanks, now I won't sleep at all tonite.

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 12:45 AM
I would hope this deal would be done before camp, but we are getting so down to the wire. We have little time to get the deal done unless Ward accepts it or they make another offer. I would hate to see Ward sit out as it might tarnish some fans views of him. I think he is a great player with a tremendous amount of heart and I would hate to see him sit out. I just hope they come to an agreement within the next few days.

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 12:47 AM
oh this is just spectactular....but this is the STeelers way..they dont care much who else makes alot of money in the league...its all about how much they've paid players in the past and how much higher they are willing to go. The steelers have always been frugal with thier money, but we'll see how much they will be willing to break the bank on Ward.

Yeah thanks, now I won't sleep at all tonite.

Same here Matt. Just sucky news. Sorry to be the one to bring it.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2005, 12:53 AM
yeah i know..but better you bring it than a non Steeler fan rubbing it in.

We still cant give up hope yet..this is the first real offer between the 2, and now they have a good starting point with which to negotiate... Being the highest paid player in Steelers history is nothing to balk at, and hopefully Hines realizes this..which Im sure he does, and he knows how the Steelers are..so that will hopefully be a bonus on our side to try and sign him. If he really wants to stay with us, he'll find a way to get it done.

one would hope they'll continue negotiations into the regular season on this one. We dont normally do that as a policy, but if there was ever a time to alter that policy alittle bit, its now !

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 12:59 AM
I agree. From everything you read and hear Hines loves this team. When Hines Ward did the show In Your Own Words (I think thats what it is called) he expressed how he wanted to be in Pittsburgh and stay in Pittsburgh. That makes me believe he will get it done. You are right Matt being the highest paid Steeler in history is not exactly a small thing.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2005, 01:06 AM
Lets hope he remembers what he said.. Money has been the downfall of many a good team player in the past, in any sport on any team. As long as Hines remembers those words he says, and really meant them, and we have no reason to think he didnt mean every word..this deal will get done at some point..but it'll take some work..

this one has the feel of one of those where talks break down, nobody says anything for awhile then all of the sudden, you get the word on espn, Ward agrees in principle to an extension to stay w/ the Steelers.

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 01:08 AM
Let's hope that ESPN news comes tomorrow or the next day lol.

Livinginthe past
07-28-2005, 05:16 AM
I got some voodoo dolls I have dressed up as Hines Ward and Richard Seymour - I have placed a miniature sized pen in both of these players hands and I am repeatedly waggling their pen-holding arms up and down in front of the 'contract' in a sort of 'name-signing' motion....

Seriously, where is Ward gonna go? I know the whole situation makes you nervous but its just a game of 'chicken' played by teams and their star-players during the off-season.
Neither side wants to look like they are 'easy meat' when it comes to contract negotiations, so there will be a bit of bluster- neither are rookies, so as someone mentioned before, they will be familiar with the playbook.


Keep the faith

NM

steelersgirl86
07-28-2005, 08:04 AM
:hope: Wow, how depressing. This is not what we needed to hear. I really hope he is true to his word and they come to an agreement sooooooon.

Lyn
07-28-2005, 08:34 AM
I personally think that Ward has too much character to "hold out"

You and I saw a man cry his eyes out because he and his teammates did not win the title game. He showed so much heart. And not only then he showed heart ever since he has been on the team.

I refuse to believe that he

1) will hold out
2) not accept being a Steeler

That makes no sense, not in the Hines Ward you and I both know.

If he does want more, etc then he fooled lotsa people. He should be paid more but also his ability to play for how many more years should be kept in mind. If he doesn't accept another offer the Steelers make him (which i doubt) then we should get rid of him. I really do not see this superiorly (is that a word) nice guy turning into a jerk, after all, that is what TO is for.


Hanging in for Hines,

ironcitychef
07-28-2005, 10:05 AM
I got some voodoo dolls I have dressed up as Hines Ward and Richard Seymour - I have placed a miniature sized pen in both of these players hands and I am repeatedly waggling their pen-holding arms up and down in front of the 'contract' in a sort of 'name-signing' motion....

NM

I thought I was the only one with voodoo dolls. LOL. I can understand us trying first to make him the highest paid Steeler first, but I would be a little upset if we stopped there and didn't put him into the highest paid WR. I guess it comes down to the secure money and signing bonus. He wants a little bit more than so far offered.

clevestinks
07-28-2005, 10:42 AM
That is a damn good offer by the Steelers, not to mention fair, also. Hines might be asking a little to much. He is great, BUT, at what price is it?

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 12:27 PM
Nice Living. Keep doing that till they sign. lol I don't think Hines wants to go anywhere else and well I don't think the Steelers want him going anywhere else. I would hope this deal is done before camp, but if not then, then the first week of camp. I also can't really see Hines sitting out of camp. I don't know just doesn't seem like him.

BB2W
07-28-2005, 01:53 PM
I was listening to ESPN radio today, and they had one of their NFL guys on there talking about hold-outs. After they went over T.O., Walker, and a few others....the host said "lets talk about two other, more serious hold-out situations".....it was Ward and Seymour. The expert said Ward is more likely to hold-out, it could get ugly, and it could ruin his career and legacy. He mentioned that the Steelers offered a nice contract and he didn't take it, and if he played for another team he would likely not be as successfull..... like many FA's that left Pittsburgh. He also mentioned he must stay in Pittsburgh because he is like an icon there and the fans love him. If he could play with Ben for some more years we may be talkling Hall of Fame.

bigbensgirl7
07-28-2005, 04:02 PM
I hope Ward doesn't hold-out :o All we can do is hope they come to an agreement soon...I ws hoping it would be done by training camp...but time is growing very short!!

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 04:22 PM
Hines Ward: Won't go to Steelers camp without extension
Thursday, July 28, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hines Ward said today he will not report to Steelers training camp Sunday night unless he and the team come to an agreement on a contract extension by then.

The Steelers wide receiver, who has one year left on a contract he signed in 2001, also said he's prepared to sit out the entire season if there's no new contract for him.

"I just want my fair market value, that's all I can ask for,'' Ward said this afternoon before an autograph appearance at the Sprint PCS Store at the Waterfront complex in Homestead.

"I'm not asking to break the bank or anything. I just want compensated. Last year you [the Steelers] told me to wait, which is understandable; I had two years left on my deal and I went about it. I reported to everything you wanted me to do; I've done everything you asked me to do.

"You said you want to make me first priority, now here it is a couple days from training camp and we're still negotiating. But I think everything will work out; there's nothing personal, it's a business."

Ward said he will remain in town at least for the next few days in case a contract agreement is reached. However, the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver acknowledged there has been little progress and, in fact, the two sides have barely talked over the past month.

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05209/545259.stm

It looks like they really ticked him off. Let's get this done. I kinda feel like the ball was dropped since the the talks seemed to stall before. Sad to see this article. I hope they have this done by Friday or Saturday.

steelparrot
07-28-2005, 04:45 PM
Hines Ward: Won't go to Steelers camp without extension
Thursday, July 28, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hines Ward said today he will not report to Steelers training camp Sunday night unless he and the team come to an agreement on a contract extension by then.

The Steelers wide receiver, who has one year left on a contract he signed in 2001, also said he's prepared to sit out the entire season if there's no new contract for him.

"I just want my fair market value, that's all I can ask for,'' Ward said this afternoon before an autograph appearance at the Sprint PCS Store at the Waterfront complex in Homestead.

"I'm not asking to break the bank or anything. I just want compensated. Last year you [the Steelers] told me to wait, which is understandable; I had two years left on my deal and I went about it. I reported to everything you wanted me to do; I've done everything you asked me to do.

"You said you want to make me first priority, now here it is a couple days from training camp and we're still negotiating. But I think everything will work out; there's nothing personal, it's a business."

Ward said he will remain in town at least for the next few days in case a contract agreement is reached. However, the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver acknowledged there has been little progress and, in fact, the two sides have barely talked over the past month.

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05209/545259.stm

It looks like they really ticked him off. Let's get this done. I kinda feel like the ball was dropped since the the talks seemed to stall before. Sad to see this article. I hope they have this done by Friday or Saturday.

wow.....this is really bad

i didnt really pay much atention to this up until a week or so ago. I just figured we would get a new contract in place, especially when dealing with hines, but i guess i was wrong

clevestinks
07-28-2005, 04:46 PM
I beleive he was offered , Fair Market Value. Come on already, this is what you call breaking the bank, and hand cuffing the Steelers. This is what seperates Hines Ward from others, so I thought. He may be no different , just plays harder. For that kind of money, we could sign two damn good receivers. Not liking his at all. I want him to stay, but his is losing some respect.

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 04:48 PM
With the latest news of Hines saying he will hold out I was curious how people feel towards him?

For me I still like him. I think he is a great player with a lot of heart. The Steelers said he was the number one priority, but to be honest why wasn't this deal finished a while ago then. I understand watching the cap and everything. But this is very down to the wire.

SteelerFanInATL
07-28-2005, 04:55 PM
The Steelers will sign Ward. Plax is gone, two new receivers (Gibson, Wilson) and one is a rookie, a rookie TE, and we heve yet to see how Randel El will do as a starter. He is the top gun in the receiving corps. To not sign him would put us a year or two away from the Super Bowl. With him the could go all the way this year while mentoring the others. If anyone ever deserved the money as a Steeler, Ward does.

BB2W
07-28-2005, 04:57 PM
I agree Cleve, 49 mil and 9 mil signing bounus is fair. He wants Moss and Harrison money. What is the difference between 49 mill and 59 mil.....you and your kids, and your grand kids are set for life. I don't get it....I would think players would take 49 mil, to ensure that the Front Office can spend the other 10 mil to surround them with some talant, and be a contender year in and year out. A 60 million dollar contract can cripple a team. :deal:

I have lost some respect for Ward....

AllAmericanSteelerGirl#7
07-28-2005, 06:20 PM
I was watching the news and they were talking to Hines. And Hines himself said that for a fact he will not go to training camp until a deal is done. He said he wants somewhere around 10 million with signing bonuses. The Steelers better get their priorities straight and sign Ward. Because he is such a big part of our team. Not only is he a great athlete, but hes a great teamate, (unlike Plax). Without Ward, we're gonna suffer. :shake01: The Steelers had 6 MONTHS to sign him, yet they wait until the very last minute and its so aggravating!

~AllAmer~

bigbensgirl7
07-28-2005, 06:25 PM
I agree...I still love Ward but have lost a little respect for him. I really hope it doesn't end up in a hold-out, because he will lose a lot of respect from the fans, players, and the organization as a whole. I don't know...if this doesn't get worked out soon, it may not be pretty!

Prosdo
07-28-2005, 06:28 PM
I was watching the news and they were talking to Hines. And Hines himself said that for a fact he will not go to training camp until a deal is done. He said he wants somewhere around 10 million with signing bonuses. The Steelers better get their priorities straight and sign Ward. Because he is such a big part of our team. Not only is he a great athlete, but hes a great teamate, (unlike Plax). Without Ward, we're gonna suffer. :shake01: The Steelers had 6 MONTHS to sign him, yet they wait until the very last minute and its so aggravating!

~AllAmer~

I agree I think that's my biggest gripe about this whole thing. From everything I have seen it looks like there was little negotiating going on. If Hines Ward was infact the number one priority why was there such little talk. I do think Hines and the Steelers will come to an agreement on the contract extension whether Hines takes the current offer or the Steelers offer another one. When? I have no clue. I would like to see it done before camp, but that is seeming less and less likely. I would like to see this settled soon.

bengalsfan21
07-28-2005, 06:59 PM
I beleive he was offered , Fair Market Value. Come on already, this is what you call breaking the bank, and hand cuffing the Steelers. This is what seperates Hines Ward from others, so I thought. He may be no different , just plays harder. For that kind of money, we could sign two damn good receivers. Not liking his at all. I want him to stay, but his is losing some respect.

You guys have gotten him for cheap long enough, you have to agree it is time to pay this man he is a damn good reciever and I highly doubt you can find 2 guys that could take his place.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2005, 10:54 PM
I agree, its time he's compensated for the 4 consecutive 1000 yd seasons, for the 4 pro bowls, for being a leader on the team. I agree he needs to be compensated and its well deserved. I do believe that this deal will get done, and if he does indeed hold out of camp, it wont be much longer after camp starts that he ends up reporting 1 way or the other.

He's right, it is a business, and he's respected around the league for being one of the best, he's been the consumate pro and team player his whole career. but if 49 million doesnt do it for you, then man oh man, what's it gonna take !!! :o

Prosdo
07-29-2005, 12:13 AM
Ward threatens to sit out season without contract extension
'I'm not asking to break the bank ... I just want compensated'
Friday, July 29, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hines Ward, the Steelers' four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, threw one of his famous downfield blocks on his own team yesterday when he proclaimed he will not report to training camp -- or show up at any point this season -- until he receives a contact extension.


Lake Fong, Post-Gazette
Hines Ward talks to reporters before an autograph session yesterday at the Waterfront complex in Homestead.
Click photo for larger image.

Related coverage
Bob Smizik: Steelers, Ward need each other

Hines Ward's 2004 Salary
Base Salary 1,668,750
Signing Bonus 0
Other Bonus 3,200
Total Salary $1,671,950
Source: USA Today

Ward, who has one year left on a contract he signed in 2001, said he's prepared to sit out the entire season if there's no new contract.

"I just want my fair market value, that's all I can ask for," Ward said yesterday afternoon before an autograph appearance at the Sprint PCS Store at the Waterfront complex in Homestead. "I'm not asking to break the bank or anything. I just want compensated."

He then made comments to the media on hand that were directed to the Steelers and referred to president Art Rooney's 2004 promise to make him a priority in contract discussions this year.

"Last year, you told me to wait, which is understandable; I had two years left on my deal and I went about it. I reported to everything you wanted me to do; I've done everything you asked me to do.

"You said you want to make me first priority, now here it is a couple days from training camp and we're still negotiating. But I think everything will work out; there's nothing personal, it's a business."

Ward will remain in town at least for the next few days in case a contract agreement is reached. The four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, however, acknowledged there has been little progress and the two sides have barely talked over the past month.

"They haven't even talked to my agent but once, as of Monday," Ward said. "They made an initial offer, my agent countered it. And that was it, there was no more negotiating after that."

A Steelers spokesman said no one from the team would comment on what Ward said.

The Post-Gazette reported yesterday the Steelers' offer would make Ward the highest-paid player in their history. Ward said his main aim is to receive as much guaranteed money as he can because in the NFL, players can be released with years left on their contract and the club is not obligated to pay any of it.

The Steelers' offer includes more than $8 million in a signing bonus and might be closer to $9 million. Many receivers over the past five years have received signing bonuses of more than $10 million, but many washed out after signing those contracts. Most notable among the failures was Joey Galloway, who received a $12.5 million signing bonus from the Cowboys in 2000, even though he never made a Pro Bowl. Ward might have in mind the kind of deal that Muhsin Muhammad received this year from the Chicago Bears. Muhammad, 32, received a $12 million bonus.

Ward has one year at $1,668,750 remaining on his deal. If he holds out, the Steelers could play tough and demand he repay them $500,000, the one-year prorated portion of his signing bonus, and fine him $6,000 daily.

Ward said if there is no contract extension, "I won't be there" at training camp in Latrobe. He said he will stay out "as long as it takes."

During a protracted holdout, Ward would lose 1/17th of his salary for each week of the regular season he boycotts. After Oct. 18, he would not be permitted to return to the team this season and would lose the credited year (and not become a free agent) unless the Steelers petition the league for his reinstatement. No player can end his holdout over the final 30 days of the season, and he would lose that credited year.

"In the NFL, you only have a short amount of time to maximize the most money you can get," said Ward, 29. "This is the business part of it. Before, I just went out and played; now I'm getting older. Once you hit 30, they think you're too old to play or whatever. It's maximizing the most money you can get."

Ward said he's in the best shape of his life and, at 204 pounds, the lightest he has weighed in a long time.

He said he's eager to reach camp and catch passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and that he does not want to hold out.

"I don't want to see it come to that. I love playing football, I love putting on the black and gold, but what's fair is fair, and that's all I can really ask for."

Ward made the past four Pro Bowls, the most by any Steelers receiver, and broke team receiving records during that time. Three times, he surpassed the Steelers' previous record of 85 receptions in a season with a high of 112 in 2002. His 505 career receptions are second only to John Stallworth's 537 in club history.

"People say, abide by your contract, but, in football, nobody abides by their contract," Ward said. "If you're not producing, they cut you or they release you. But if you have been producing, which I have for the last four years, I feel like I want to get compensated for it."

Asked where he felt his contract deserved to be among the NFL's receivers, Ward said he wasn't sure.

"Whatever -- the most I can get, I guess. People always compare, 'Well, he doesn't deserve what Marvin Harrison gets,' but I'm not trying to be Marvin. I'm not in that type of offense. You put one of those guys in our type of offense, their numbers are going to drop tremendously to what they're accustomed to."

Ward said there's nothing personal, even if he boycotts training camp, and he wants to remain a Steeler.

"It's sad to see for it to come to this, but the NFL is part business as well as going out there and performing on the field."

The bottom of the page has the 2004 Top WR's salaries. Click the link to see them.

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05210/545641.stm

BlitzburghRockCity
07-29-2005, 12:19 AM
Ward, who has one year left on a contract he signed in 2001, said he's prepared to sit out the entire season if there's no new contract.

UGH, I cringe every time I read that...

Prosdo
07-29-2005, 12:21 AM
Same here Blitz. I think it will work out though. Hines seems to like it here and he has said he wants to retire here. I trust that to be true.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-29-2005, 12:30 AM
I have to stick w/ what he's stood for his whole career and bank on what he said he's all about. He wants to be a Steeler, so we have to hope he and the FO will come around. There's nothing wrong w/ playing alittle hardball. You cant just give in without some give and take, and lets face it. Hines doesnt need 4 weeks of preseason and a month long training camp to get ready to play in sept. so if he holds out a few weeks even, its not going to that big of a hinderance to him.. which Im sure is playing in his mind as well.

Prosdo
07-29-2005, 12:36 AM
Very good post. I agree. I too have to look at the Hines we have known over the years. The team player who bleeds black and gold. I am confident this will get done although the waiting is getting a bit stressful.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-29-2005, 12:54 AM
I know there is no way Im falling asleep anytime fast tonite! :(

Prosdo
07-29-2005, 12:59 AM
lol I hear you on that one.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-29-2005, 01:00 AM
Im going to bed tonite w/ the thought that this is all a bad dream and I will wake up and he will have signed !! :rolleyes:

Prosdo
07-29-2005, 01:25 AM
Smizik: Steelers, Ward need each other
Friday, July 29, 2005
By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers are a football team but, as Hines Ward is learning, they play hardball, too.

There might not be a more formidable team in professional sports negotiations than the Steelers. That doesn't mean they're cheap. They're not. They spend as much as most teams, more than some. But unlike so many teams that will pay whatever it takes, the Steelers pay whatever they think is fair. No more.

Once they draw a financial line, they don't often cross it.

Which might not bode well for the 2005 season.

Ward, one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL and highly integral to the team's offensive success, is entering the final year of his contract. He wants an extension that will pay him what he considers the going rate for players of his caliber.

If he doesn't get it, he said he won't report to training camp Sunday. He also suggested that he would sit out the 2005 season if a contract to his liking is not forthcoming.

Without Ward, the Steelers would be a pale imitation of the team that was 15-1 in 2004 and advanced to the AFC title game. He is their best receiver and a peerless blocker whose zest for physical play not only enhances the running game but helps to make him the team's most popular player and the one who most embodies the Steelers' way.

His absence would be felt even more profoundly since the Steelers already have lost their other starting wide receiver, Plaxico Burress, who signed in the offseason with the New York Giants.

If Ward does not play this season, it would leave second-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger without his go-to guy and with a severely depleted receiving corps.

Asked if he would report to camp without a contract, Ward said, "I will not be there."

Asked if he would sit out the entire season, Ward said, "If that's what it has to come down to."

He quickly added he didn't think it would go that far.

It all depends on how hard Ward wants to play his hand. The Steelers might bend in these negotiations, but they won't break.

Ward was particularly annoyed that so little had been done in the way of negotiations to this point. He pushed last summer for a new contract and considered not reporting to camp. He backed off that stance before acting on it and had another brilliant year and played in his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl.

At the time, the Steelers said signing Ward to a contract extension would be a "priority." The fact they signed first-round draft choice Heath Miller, who received a $5 million signing bonus, before Ward makes that priority somewhat suspect.

Fans have rallied to the support of Ward, whose all-out style of play, ever-present smile and willingness to speak candidly on a variety of subjects makes him one of the most popular figures in recent Pittsburgh sports history.

Rest of the article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05210/545640.stm

Livinginthe past
07-29-2005, 01:54 AM
I think, unless he has been grossly mis-represented by his agent that Hines Ward does not bleed black and gold. I believe the same applies to our hold out, Richard Seymour - sure...when and if he signs he will say "there was no way I was gonna go anywhere but here. Pittsburgh/New England/Philadelphia (*delete as applicable) is my home and I hope to retire here"

Players who genuinely hold great value to commiting loyally to the team that selected them are a very rare breed indeed - players such as Tom Brady.
They are greatly outnumbered by players such as Damien Woody, Richard Seymour, and Hines Ward who are not exactly mercenary - but they certainly dont undervalue their own contribution to a teams success.....

This is not to say you wont sign Hines...for a start I cant think where he would go this year? (Any thoughts Pitts fans?)
But the simple fact is actions speak louder than words and all the 'this is the greatest city in the world' talk can be about as heartfelt as any given rock group saying the same thing in EVERY city they tour.

regards

NM

BlitzburghRockCity
07-29-2005, 02:00 AM
You know what they say, money talks and bullshit walks.. Hines Ward has never been anything close to bullshit, but the time is now for him to stick to this word and for the Steelers to compensate him accordingly. It wont be pretty, and probably down right ugly, but it'll get done sooner or later.

burghbaby
07-29-2005, 03:52 AM
I agree with livininthe past... do you really think he is worried about retiring here... come on now, heck no he aint worried. He dont bleed black & gold and that is the truth and please dont be nieve to that! He just wants his money no matter where it is. Since they dont want to pay him what he wants and believe me he is a greedy person and i've seen better WR, but he is good but losing sleep over this is just crazy. Hopefully he'll go to his homeland in ATL and stay there. #2 dirtest player in the league remember that one? He did have some off the field troubles being dirty, hahaha, i seen those court papers...just like Kobe and every other professional that hasnt got caught. I have no love for him on any type of level.

PaSteelers
07-30-2005, 02:48 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/images3/20050729lfHinesWard02.1_230.jpg

Ward threatens to sit out season without contract extension
'I'm not asking to break the bank ... I just want compensated'
Friday, July 29, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Hines Ward, the Steelers' four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, threw one of his famous downfield blocks on his own team yesterday when he proclaimed he will not report to training camp -- or show up at any point this season -- until he receives a contact extension.


Lake Fong, Post-Gazette
Hines Ward talks to reporters before an autograph session yesterday at the Waterfront complex in Homestead.
Click photo for larger image.

Related coverage
Bob Smizik: Steelers, Ward need each other
Hines Ward's 2004 Salary Base Salary 1,668,750
Signing Bonus 0
Other Bonus 3,200
Total Salary $1,671,950
Source: USA Today

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ward, who has one year left on a contract he signed in 2001, said he's prepared to sit out the entire season if there's no new contract.

"I just want my fair market value, that's all I can ask for," Ward said yesterday afternoon before an autograph appearance at the Sprint PCS Store at the Waterfront complex in Homestead. "I'm not asking to break the bank or anything. I just want compensated."

He then made comments to the media on hand that were directed to the Steelers and referred to president Art Rooney's 2004 promise to make him a priority in contract discussions this year.

"Last year, you told me to wait, which is understandable; I had two years left on my deal and I went about it. I reported to everything you wanted me to do; I've done everything you asked me to do.

"You said you want to make me first priority, now here it is a couple days from training camp and we're still negotiating. But I think everything will work out; there's nothing personal, it's a business."

Ward will remain in town at least for the next few days in case a contract agreement is reached. The four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, however, acknowledged there has been little progress and the two sides have barely talked over the past month.

"They haven't even talked to my agent but once, as of Monday," Ward said. "They made an initial offer, my agent countered it. And that was it, there was no more negotiating after that."

A Steelers spokesman said no one from the team would comment on what Ward said.

The Post-Gazette reported yesterday the Steelers' offer would make Ward the highest-paid player in their history. Ward said his main aim is to receive as much guaranteed money as he can because in the NFL, players can be released with years left on their contract and the club is not obligated to pay any of it.

The Steelers' offer includes more than $8 million in a signing bonus and might be closer to $9 million. Many receivers over the past five years have received signing bonuses of more than $10 million, but many washed out after signing those contracts. Most notable among the failures was Joey Galloway, who received a $12.5 million signing bonus from the Cowboys in 2000, even though he never made a Pro Bowl. Ward might have in mind the kind of deal that Muhsin Muhammad received this year from the Chicago Bears. Muhammad, 32, received a $12 million bonus.

Ward has one year at $1,668,750 remaining on his deal. If he holds out, the Steelers could play tough and demand he repay them $500,000, the one-year prorated portion of his signing bonus, and fine him $6,000 daily.

Ward said if there is no contract extension, "I won't be there" at training camp in Latrobe. He said he will stay out "as long as it takes."

During a protracted holdout, Ward would lose 1/17th of his salary for each week of the regular season he boycotts. After Oct. 18, he would not be permitted to return to the team this season and would lose the credited year (and not become a free agent) unless the Steelers petition the league for his reinstatement. No player can end his holdout over the final 30 days of the season, and he would lose that credited year.

"In the NFL, you only have a short amount of time to maximize the most money you can get," said Ward, 29. "This is the business part of it. Before, I just went out and played; now I'm getting older. Once you hit 30, they think you're too old to play or whatever. It's maximizing the most money you can get."

Ward said he's in the best shape of his life and, at 204 pounds, the lightest he has weighed in a long time.

He said he's eager to reach camp and catch passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and that he does not want to hold out.

"I don't want to see it come to that. I love playing football, I love putting on the black and gold, but what's fair is fair, and that's all I can really ask for."

Ward made the past four Pro Bowls, the most by any Steelers receiver, and broke team receiving records during that time. Three times, he surpassed the Steelers' previous record of 85 receptions in a season with a high of 112 in 2002. His 505 career receptions are second only to John Stallworth's 537 in club history.

"People say, abide by your contract, but, in football, nobody abides by their contract," Ward said. "If you're not producing, they cut you or they release you. But if you have been producing, which I have for the last four years, I feel like I want to get compensated for it."

Asked where he felt his contract deserved to be among the NFL's receivers, Ward said he wasn't sure.

"Whatever -- the most I can get, I guess. People always compare, 'Well, he doesn't deserve what Marvin Harrison gets,' but I'm not trying to be Marvin. I'm not in that type of offense. You put one of those guys in our type of offense, their numbers are going to drop tremendously to what they're accustomed to."

Ward said there's nothing personal, even if he boycotts training camp, and he wants to remain a Steeler.

"It's sad to see for it to come to this, but the NFL is part business as well as going out there and performing on the field."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2004 Top NFL WR Salaries
Player Marvin Harrison Terrell Owens Darrell Jackson Amani Toomer Steve Smith Larry Fitzgerald Justin McCareins Chris Chambers Randy Moss

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Base Salary 4,559,765 660,000 1,000,000 660,000 743,529 1,050,000 1,000,000 500,000 5,750,000

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Signing Bonus 6,000,000 2,300,000 8,000,000 8,000,000 7,256,471 7,500,000 6,000,000 5,500,000 0

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other Bonus 400 6,200,700 400 4,100 600,000 0 0 500,000 323,204

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total Salary $10,560,165 $9,160,700 $9,000,400 $8,664,100 $8,600,000 $8,550,000 $7,000,000 6,500,000 $6,073,204

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3878.)

VaDave
07-30-2005, 08:24 AM
PA,

Looks like to me with an almost 9mil bonus, and his 1.6mil salary, he'd be the top paid receiver in the league this year. Thos other guys with the high base salaries are going to to be tommorow's sal cap casualities. Hines needs to sign.

slashsteel
07-30-2005, 10:09 AM
I think Hines will sign when it gets closer to the season. His last contract he is just trying to milk the goat.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-30-2005, 12:47 PM
"In the NFL, you only have a short amount of time to maximize the most money you can get," said Ward, 29. "This is the business part of it. Before, I just went out and played; now I'm getting older. Once you hit 30, they think you're too old to play or whatever. It's maximizing the most money you can get."

Ward said he's in the best shape of his life and, at 204 pounds, the lightest he has weighed in a long time.

He said he's eager to reach camp and catch passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and that he does not want to hold out.

"I don't want to see it come to that. I love playing football, I love putting on the black and gold, but what's fair is fair, and that's all I can really ask for."

I still stand by the thinking that, unless the Steelers only offered him a paltry contract, how much easier is to live the rest of your life on 60 million than it is 50 million..not counting all the money he's made already and what he'll make when gets out from his NFL retirement and possible broadcasting opportunities. I mean, yah I know theres taxes and agents percentages and all that..but geez almighty. I understand Hines, I honestly do, I know he wants as much as he can get, hell anybody would, I would, but to be highest player in Steelers history, one of the highest paid WR's in the league, and you already have the respect of the league and your team mates and fans. What more can ya ask for !

Avoid LLoyd1975
07-30-2005, 01:45 PM
I think he is showing his ass right now. Sign the damn contract and quit acting like T.O. I mean everything that makes people like him, he is doing just the exact opposite. Damn Hines quit being so damn greedy or pack your shit. I know we owe him bundles and that is exactly what we are doing for him and he is not even honoring that.

steelersgirl86
07-30-2005, 06:46 PM
I am a Ward fan all the way, but I must have to say this is really making me think twice about the person he is. I know the player is there but the person inside is being questioned. I never thought I would say that but it is getting down to the line here and if you really want to be true to the black and gold just sign already......I am going to the training camp in less than a week and there are a bunch of us going and wouldnt be the same to not see him on the field. I mean we get to be dont on the field right next to them the pictures are great and I have great ones from last year and I hope I will do the same this year.....I am really glad we have all of you to keep us posted. I have been checking in alot lately for all the updates and I come right here. So thanks to everyone... :tt: :sign04:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-30-2005, 11:11 PM
We'll keep our fingers crossed that he signs soon so you can see him in camp girl!!

Knowing the way Ward has been his entire career, it's gotta be a struggle for him to do this, it really does. He's letting his team down, the rooneys, the city,and the fans. But when it comes to money, u know what they say.. Money talks and bullshit walks. Lets hope Ward doesnt let this go any farther than it absolutely has too.

Prosdo
07-30-2005, 11:40 PM
We'll keep our fingers crossed that he signs soon so you can see him in camp girl!!

Knowing the way Ward has been his entire career, it's gotta be a struggle for him to do this, it really does. He's letting his team down, the rooneys, the city,and the fans. But when it comes to money, u know what they say.. Money talks and bullshit walks. Lets hope Ward doesnt let this go any farther than it absolutely has too.

I hope to see him there too. He is one of my favorite players and I enjoyed seeing him there the last time I went. The way Ward has been his whole career makes me believe he wants to get into training camp and get this done as soon as possible. I am hoping it is done before I get up to camp.

Prosdo
07-31-2005, 12:50 AM
Wait for Ward may begin today
By Joe Bendel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Hines Ward Watch begins in earnest today, as Steelers players are scheduled to report for training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe no later than 6 p.m.

Ward, the team's four-time Pro Bowl receiver, announced Thursday that he would hold out of these workouts unless he's given a contract extension to his liking. The Steelers offered to make him the highest paid player in team history, but Ward's agents, Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes, did not accept.

Ward's representatives counter-offered, according to Ward, but to no avail.

The 29-year-old Ward, who is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $1,668,750 this season, could be fined as much as $6,000 for every day of training camp he misses.


He has threatened to sit out the entire season, which might work against him because he'd remain the property of the Steelers for 2006 and lose out on an opportunity to test the free-agent market.

Linebacker Mike Merriweather was the most recent player to boycott a season in 1988. The Steelers did not agree to his demands and traded him to Minnesota the following year.

Historically, the Steelers refuse to negotiate extensions if a player fails to show up for camp. Ward, who is seeking significant guaranteed money (likely more than $8 million), ranked 37th among NFL receivers last season based on salary cap value.

"I don't think that's fair," Ward said.

Ward's numbers over the past four seasons rank among the top wideouts in the league. He was instrumental in helping the Steelers finish 15-1 last season and reach the AFC Championship game.

With or without Ward, the Steelers will congregate at St. Vincent today, as the set off on a 25-day regimen. They open the exhibition season Aug. 15 against Philadelphia at Heinz Field.

Link: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/steelerslive/s_358835.html

BlitzburghRockCity
07-31-2005, 12:53 AM
Damn prosdo, ur on the ball girl..Ive been posting up all these articles on the front page of the site like I do every nite, and I come back in here and u've got em all up in the forums already! Gotta love a chick that bleeds black n gold, great stuff girl thanks for posting it all up !

Now onto the bad news.. Ward's representatives counter-offered, according to Ward, but to no avail.

That really sucks right there.. I wonder how far off they were in numbers?

Prosdo
07-31-2005, 01:07 AM
lol I enjoy finding Steelers articles and posting them up. Got to keep up to date on the team. You are right it does suck. I wonder what the numbers on the counter offer were. Hmmm....

Prosdo
07-31-2005, 06:03 PM
I am watching the Savran on Sportsbeat Training Camp edition Dulac thinks it will probably be another week with Ward. Two maybe. I think he is right. I don't see this thing lasting long.

I'll add this here. Don't want to have the last three posts in a thread.

Steelers | Ward Doesn't Show Up
Sun, 31 Jul 2005 16:23:50 -0700

WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh reports Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward did not report to the Steelers for the 6 p.m. ET training camp deadline Sunday, July 31.

Link: http://www.kffl.com/player/1546/NFL

Prosdo
07-31-2005, 09:16 PM
Colbert on Ward Holdout
By Jim Wexell
Date: Jul 31, 2005

The Steelers' director of football operations, as per routine, checks in with the media after the 6 p.m. deadline for players to report to training camp. Colbert didn't have any good news for Steelers fans on the Hines Ward front.


KEVIN COLBERT

Everybody is accounted for except for Hines Ward. Obviously we've been in contract discussions with Hines and his representatives for an extension and unfortunately we weren't able to come to an agreement and he has chosen not to be here at this time.
We've had discussions as late as today, and we've had discussions periodically really since February and this is where it is.

Any progress today?
Obviously not. I mean, the player's not here and until you have an agreement I don't think there's significant progress.

Will you fine him?
That's a decision for the coach.

What does the organization think about this?
Well, the organization is disappointed but this is a situation where you understand that Hines Ward is a special player and always has been. He has two very good representatives that we have good relationships with. It's just that sometimes these things, there's going to be a disagreement and unfortunately that's where it is at this point.

Will you talk while he's not here?
It's always been the policy of this organization that there will be no negotiations while a player who is under contract is not in camp.

Will that be adhered to?
Yes.

The next move is up to them?
Again the policy has always been if a player's under contract, he has to be in camp for any kind of negotiations to go forward.

Rest of the article: http://steelers.scout.com/2/417422.html

SteelProven
07-31-2005, 10:17 PM
It be nice to here H. Ward state what kind of contract he's looking for. I mean why is his demand so secretive. Just say I'm looking for 12 singing bonsus and 4-5 yrs with guarnteed 4-5 million a year. I don't think that would halt negotations, do you?

Prosdo
07-31-2005, 10:21 PM
I agree. I would like to see some numbers. What Ward wants or what exactly the Steelers offered.

steelparrot
07-31-2005, 11:07 PM
I agree. I would like to see some numbers. What Ward wants or what exactly the Steelers offered.

yep that would defintly help me form a better opinion about this whole situation.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-31-2005, 11:35 PM
Yep its official. No Hines.. that's just FREEKIN SPECTACULAR!!! ugh !!!!! This really blows !!! So basically we are at a stale mate..either he shows up to camp, or nothing more will come of it. I hope Hines gets his ass in there so they can atleast continue to talk. They've 2 months till the season starts to hammer this out, but every day he doesnt show up is one less day to get this fixed.

Damnit this blows!!! :banging: :mad: :countdown

Prosdo
07-31-2005, 11:37 PM
I agree Blitz. I think he will end up showing. I mean he says he wants to stay here and if the talks won't move forward I got to believe he will show up within a week or two. Hopefully much sooner.

SteelR1
07-31-2005, 11:49 PM
Man I hope this thing gets resolved. We need him, and everybody else for that matter.....

Prosdo
08-01-2005, 12:28 AM
Ward, Steelers play hardball
Team says it will not negotiate with holdout WR until he comes to training camp
Monday, August 01, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Players reported for the start of Steelers training camp yesterday but it was hardball that played out across the St. Vincent College campus.

Pro Bowl receiver Hines Ward backed up his promise and did not report when he did not reach agreement on a contract extension with the Steelers. The team responded to his unauthorized absence by ending negotiations with him, and the team's director of football operations said no further talks will occur until Ward reports to camp.

"It's always been the policy of this organization that there will be no negotiations while a player who is under contract is not in camp," Kevin Colbert said.

Ward has one year left on a contract he signed in the summer of 2001, before he embarked on a stretch of four Pro Bowl seasons, obliterating Steelers receiving records during that time.

The Steelers gave Ward a proposal that would make him the highest-paid player in club history, but the signing bonus offered by the club, pegged around $9 million, is not close to what agent Eugene Parker demanded from the team.

Colbert said the sides talked yesterday but reported no progress.

"If a player was in camp we would hopefully continue the negotiations," Colbert said. "But, unfortunately, he's not."

While Colbert said the organization was disappointed, many of Ward's teammates came to his defense, most forcefully Jerome Bettis, who predicted Ward's holdout won't end until "they take care of him."

"I think that's what it boils down to," Bettis said. "It's a situation where they're leaving him no choice. He wants to be here. Unfortunately they're not stepping up to the plate."

Bettis publicly chastised the Steelers for not taking a more active approach in signing Ward after president Art Rooney declared it a priority to get an extension done this season for him.

Rest of the article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05213/547003.stm


From what I have heard in this article and seen on tv today. It looks like the player understand his decision.

Prosdo
08-01-2005, 12:30 AM
Teammates show support for Ward
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, August 1, 2005

An hour or so before Hines Ward officially became a holdout, Alan Faneca offered hope.

"You know, I saw him at the Eat-n-Park down the road," the Steelers' All-Pro guard said late Sunday afternoon. "We were talking and he said he's going to be here."

Faneca was kidding, of course.

The 6 p.m. reporting deadline came and went and Ward, a four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, was nowhere to be seen at St. Vincent College.


Reaction ranged from Faneca's initial attempt at humor to resignation, also expressed by Faneca on a day during which Steelers players who met the media -- quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back Duce Staley ducked the media horde and found alternate ways into Rooney Hall -- found themselves talking about almost nothing else.

"Hines is going to have to do what's best for him and his family," Faneca said. "We're just going to have to hold down the fort. When he gets here, he gets here."

Running back Jerome Bettis expressed "disappointment" the organization has allowed the Ward saga to linger unresolved.

"I think they could have ironed this out or gone through this process a little earlier," Bettis said. "They didn't necessarily have to drag it this far. Unfortunately, it's gone this far and there's nothing we can do about it. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

"If he's the first priority, I think everybody could have been a little more proactive in getting it done."

Ward initially requested a long-term contract extension prior to 2004, when quarterback Tommy Maddox received one in a departure from policy the Steelers labeled an "exception."

The Steelers told Ward discussing his extension would be a "priority" heading into 2005.

Ward has accounted for 94, 112, 95 and 80 receptions over the past four seasons, and surpassed 1,000 receiving yards each season.

He's scheduled to earn $1,668,750 in 2005.

The Steelers have offered Ward the most lucrative contract in franchise history.

But Ward turned it down.

"If it was me, I would hope I have the support of my teammates," said Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter. "He knows he definitely has the support he needs from me.

"You can't get too many paydays in this business. And he feels like this is pretty much one of his last paydays."

Such support for Ward was unanimous among Steelers players.

Added Bettis: "You have to understand he has a family he has to take care of. He's been underpaid for a very long time.

"It's a situation where they're leaving him no choice. He wants to be here. Unfortunately, they're not stepping up to the plate. His worth is more than the value he's been given in the past and that needs to be rectified. He's definitely the heart and soul of this football team."

Added Porter: "We can't win without him. I don't know what the numbers are or anything like that, but I know he's worth whatever he's probably asking for."

Bettis couldn't call an eventual winner in the Ward-Steelers stalemate yesterday.

"That's a tough one," Bettis said. "This organization has been very frugal, if that's the right word, in some of the decisions they've made. I just think this is a decision; it's not a matter of should you, it's a matter of how much."

Link: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/steelerslive/s_359045.html

SteelR1
08-01-2005, 12:35 AM
I certainly agree he deserves the bank, I hope somebody will dig deep in their pockets and settle up.
Come on Steelers, lets make this OUR year!!!!!!!!!

Livinginthe past
08-01-2005, 08:51 AM
Found an article ( http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/3850758 ) that seems to suggest that the Hines Ward situation is at an impasse.
The team and player seem to be stuck in a Catch-22 situation where the player wont report to camp unless he has a new contract....and the team wont negotiate a new contract til he comes to camp.

I hope both parties have not boxed themselves into a corner.

I also think it is slightly unwise for so many players to be coming out in such blatant support of the player, Joey Porter being quoted as saying ' we can't win without him' is not going to do a great deal for team morale should they not get him signed.

Regards

NM

Da Boot
08-01-2005, 11:08 AM
I'm really starting to not like this situation. I think the ball is in Hines court right now. I dont see the FO going against their policy. It will be interesting to see if Cowher decides to start fining Ward, that might change Wards decision to sit out real quick.

Prosdo
08-01-2005, 11:26 AM
I don't like the whole situation. I think Hines will end up reporting to camp Friday or maybe the next week. I don't think this whole thing will last long. They will come to an agreement.

SteelProven
08-01-2005, 12:53 PM
Not matter what the opinions is, H. Ward is a stat up guy and player. Even though I don't agree with players holding out. I do agree with H. Ward getting aggressive in the re-negotation of his contract. While I think they should of taken these type of actions months ago. I do feel at the end of the day it will end in the next two weeks.

rowedf
08-01-2005, 02:34 PM
The player has ZERO leverage in these situations BUT to hold out. I don't condone it, but its really tough to blame him being he doesn't really have any other cards to pull but holding out.

Prosdo
08-01-2005, 06:11 PM
"Ward is asking for a $10 million signing bonus, which is what some of the highest-paid receivers in the league have been given."

Link: http://www.wpxi.com/sports/4793309/detail.html

Did anyone else hear about this?

BlitzburghRockCity
08-01-2005, 06:14 PM
So give him the 10 mill in a bonus, prorate it over a 6 or 7 year deal, and then u can give him lower yearly salaries to compensate for it. it happens all the time in the NFL and in Pittsburgh. Whats the problem here then :(

Prosdo
08-01-2005, 06:16 PM
I don't know how true the 10 million signing bonus number is, but I would think it would be true coming from them. I don't think they would post it if it wasn't. The way people were talking it sounded like he wanted 12 or 13 million. Granted 10 million is no little chunk of change, but still I think Ward deserves 10 million.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-01-2005, 06:17 PM
It is at a stalemate right now, the Steelers wont negoiate while a player who is under contract is holding out of camp. so until one of them budges, which will mostlikely have to be ward, there's not much else to do but hurry up and wait.

gonna merge this thread w/ the big ward thread now..

Prosdo
08-01-2005, 06:21 PM
I agree Blitz. Ward has to show up. I am hoping he does by Friday. I want to see this guy working out with the team.

Rush58
08-01-2005, 06:34 PM
I think the Steelers have to do something. Hines Ward has been a class act. This "stalemate" will only make the owner and management look bad.

SteelR1
08-01-2005, 07:13 PM
I think the Steelers have to do something. Hines Ward has been class act. This "stalemate" will only make the owner and management look bad.


I agree totaly. Ward has been everything the Steelers want a player to be. Management could have it worse, they could be dealing with T.O. or Moss.......

They need to give Ward the money, he is the heart and sole of this team right now!!!!!

SteelProven
08-01-2005, 07:57 PM
H. Ward should of had a new contract before the draft. But also H. Ward has to be pro-active in these negotations. To me if re-negotating was such a big deal then he would of made a point to talk to the FO earlier. I just feel there was a lot of procrastinating going on with this whole thing. Hopefully he's not a stubborn man and listens to reasons and reports. :argue:

Livinginthe past
08-01-2005, 08:14 PM
My own 2 cents is that a deal will be done within 2 weeks.
The main reason that players hold out in this situation is to try and get the public opinion behind them - they hope that pressure on the management and owners will lead to a much improved offer.

As I have asked before...what are Ward's real options?

Sitting out for the season? I doubt this will happen as he wont have may better shots at a ring than this year.

Being Traded? Who is going to come in for him?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this trading option?

Are there any teams with enough left in the kitty to get Hines on their roster?

Regards

NM

Prosdo
08-01-2005, 08:20 PM
I agree with you Living. I don't think this will last long. Two weeks tops. In my opinion I don't like the idea of trading Ward. He is a good fit for the Steelers.

Prosdo
08-02-2005, 02:18 AM
Cowher: No calls to Ward this summer
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Newcomer Cedrick Wilson will take Hines Ward's place in the lineup as the Steelers entered Day 2 of the Pro Bowl receiver's holdout with no word of any progress in negotiations.

While the Steelers ended negotiations for a contract extension after Ward did not report to training camp Sunday, Ward's agent said he is ready to talk if the Steelers change their mind.

"We haven't closed any doors," Eugene Parker said. "They may have, but we haven't."

Parker said no talks have taken place since Kevin Colbert, the team's director of football operations, announced Sunday evening that the team policy forbade holding talks with any player under contract who did not report as required to training camp.

And yesterday, coach Bill Cowher weighed in on the topic for the first time.

"It's unfortunate that it has come to this," Cowher said yesterday after putting his team through running drills at St. Vincent College in Latrobe. "We're hopeful that he'll get here sometime in the near future but we're going to move on with or without him."

Wilson, the only unrestricted free agent signed by the team, will take Ward's spot at flanker. Antwaan Randle El will open at split end, a job held by Plaxico Burress before he fled in free agency. The two receivers were supposed to compete for Burress' old role.

"All you can do is deal with the circumstances, as this football team has done," Cowher said. "It happens, that's why you have 53 guys. This is an unfortunate circumstance but we have to be prepared to move on and we will."

The Steelers could fine Ward up to $6,000 daily but Cowher declined to say if they would. Cowher traditionally is reluctant to fine his players for any reason.

"Hopefully, this thing will rectify itself but we're going to move on," Cowher said. "We're going to proceed forward with the players who are here."

While Wilson and Randle El will start at receiver until Ward returns, one of them likely will move to the slot when they use three receivers, and Lee Mays then would likely play on the outside.

Cowher declined to predict how long Ward's absence would last.

"I've been in this business a long time and like I said it's unfortunate it got to this point, but I'm very hopeful he'll be joining us as we prepare for a big year."

Cowher also has not talked to Ward recently but would not preclude a conversation.

"I take all phone calls. I have an open-door policy."

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05214/547328.stm

Prosdo
08-02-2005, 02:25 AM
Ward's agent working on next move
By Joe Bendel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, August 2, 2005

A day after Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert issued an ultimatum to Hines Ward, the agent for the Pro Bowl wide receiver was still trying to formulate a response.
"I can't say what we're going to do," Eugene Parker said Monday. "I just can't say. I don't know if we have any special plan of attack or any reaction to Kevin's comments. We weren't the ones who said we weren't willing to talk."

Colbert said Sunday the team would not negotiate a contract extension for Ward until the latter showed up for training camp, which officially began at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Ward and the Steelers had been working on a deal in the offseason, but it reached an impasse when he turned down the richest contract offer in Steelers history. The Steelers turned down Ward's counter-offer.

Ward has a year remaining on a deal that pays him $1.66 million this season. He is seeking an extension that would feature significant guaranteed money and place him among the elite wideouts in the NFL.

But as things stand now, negotiations are over unless Ward returns to the team. Parker said he is contemplating his next move, but was non-committal when asked if he'd consider summoning Ward to camp in order to restart negotiations.

"All I can say is that we haven't taken that step. This is the first step and it's fresh, so we have to take time on it," he said. "And we have to decide if there's anything else we can do."

The Steelers can fine Ward up to $6,000 for every day he misses camp. That decision would be made by coach Bill Cowher, who said yesterday that it would be handled on an "in-house basis."

Parker would like to avoid such a scenario, although he offered no assurances when asked if Ward would make it to camp - or if he'd even play for the Steelers this season.

"Do I expect it?" he said. "I can use the term, 'Hope.' I would hope it would work out. I tend to be a positive person. From that standpoint, I would have positive expectations. Hines Ward epitomizes the Steelers. And I just hope there's a way to work things out."

How does Parker suppose it can happen?

"The Steelers have to answer those questions," he said. "We can't be overly concerned about what the Steelers do or don't do. If we could control the things the Steelers do, we would have a deal. So, there are things that are out of our control, and we can't worry about it. Whatever they're going to do, they're going to do.

"We've had enough talks with them, and we knew where they were coming from and they knew where we were coming from. I can't predict what will happen in the future."

Parker said he never has had a client hold out an entire season in his 20 years as a players representative. If Ward turns out to be the first, it could be costly, considering he could be fined for missed games, potentially forfeit 25 percent of his signing bonus ($500,000) and remain the property of the Steelers for '06, thereby missing out on free-agency.

Last week, Ward indicated that the progress in negotiations was unsatisfactory, due in large part to the amount of guaranteed money he was offered. He'd like to receive a signing bonus that is commensurate with some of the league's top wideouts, upwards of $8 million. Parker said Ward was emotional when he went public with those statements.

"I really didn't want Hines getting into it," Parker said. "We just think it's best not to discuss numbers."

Parker said Ward is currently working out on his own and awaiting a verdict on his immediate future. He is also torn by the situation.

"I think he has a lot of mixed emotions," Parker said. "He's a football player, but he's also a family man and a business man, and he has mixed emotions, as would be expected."

Link: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/steelerslive/s_359413.html

Prosdo
08-02-2005, 02:26 AM
Cowher: 'It's unfortunate that it has come to this'
By Joe Bendel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Steelers coach Bill Cowher conducted his annual run test Monday without star wide receiver Hines Ward, who is holding out of training camp for more money.
It is a distraction that the veteran boss could do without, yet he realizes contract negotiations can get sticky.

"Let me just say this about the Hines Ward situation," Cowher said, addressing the media about the holdout for the first time. "First of all, Hines Ward, I love him as a player. He's very respected on this football team. Not just by the players, but by the whole organization. It's unfortunate that it has come to this. We're hopeful that he'll get here in the near future."

This is just the second time in his 14 years Cowher has faced a holdout by a veteran under contract. Running back Barry Foster did it 12 years ago.

Unlike his predecessor, Chuck Noll, who uttered the famous words "Franco who?" when future Hall of Famer Franco Harris held out in 1984, Cowher was much kinder in discussing Ward, a four-time Pro Bowler.

"We are going to move on, with or without him," Cowher said. "Hopefully, this thing will rectify itself, and we're going to proceed forward with the players that are here. I'm not going to answer questions about it on a day-to-day basis, but I wanted to make a statement from the very beginning."

Cowher has not been in contact with Ward in recent days, but ...

"I take all phone calls," he said. "I have an open door policy and that will not change. There has been communication with his representatives and with our people. There hasn't been a lack of communication at all."

Without Ward, the passing game could falter, given the fact Ward is averaging 95 receptions the past four seasons. He also embodies the Steelers' persona - blue-collar and tough - and is a devastating downfield blocker.

Cowher wouldn't speculate on how long Ward might sit out - the Steelers refuse to negotiate his desired extension until he reports to camp - but he said he's hopeful.

"All you can do is deal with the circumstances that this football team is dealt," he said. "It happens. That's why you've got 53 guys (on the final roster). This is an unfortunate circumstance, but we need to be prepared to move on - and we will."

Cowher has the option to fine Ward up to $6,000 for each day of camp he misses, although he didn't reveal if he'll exercise that right. "That will be dealt with in-house," he said.

In Ward's absence, Antwaan Randle El will move into Ward's spot at split end and free-agent signee Cedrick Wilson will line up at flanker. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will have to adjust without his playmaker, at least for a while.

"It's probably just going to affect the offense, him being such an integral part," Roethlisberger said. "But just like in the season when you need a big play and need someone to come through, you can count on Hines. And I know when we need him, we'll go to Hines."

On a positive note, Roethlisberger can work more closely with rookie tight end Heath Miller and Wilson in Ward's absence.

"Getting those guys in a lot more (during camp) will help us utilize them, and, hopefully, get us on the same page," Roethlisberger said.

Link: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/steelerslive/s_359452.html

Southernsteeler
08-02-2005, 03:15 PM
We have seen the last of ward in a steelers uniform....unless they franchise his butt next year...Whenever the steelers have offered a huge contract like this and its been turned down they have never offered another..(rod woodson)Ward is a good WR but not a great WR he dosn't have the speed, hands, nor height to be a top paid WR.....great blocker yes but so is dan krieder but you won't see him making 9million a year.....Trade him there's always other teams looking for overpaid WR's Let's got Zamir

Prosdo
08-03-2005, 01:08 AM
Staley understands what Ward is going through
By Jim Wexell, For the Herald-Standard
08/03/2005

LATROBE - At one time in his pro career he could've run for governor of Pennsylvania and won in a landslide. He was that popular.

Not only was he a good football player, he had the heart of a lion. He was beloved in the city, a flat-out fan favorite. And then he held out with a year remaining on his contract and things turned ugly. He became known as the selfish guy, who - instead of reporting to camp and helping his team come together for an expected run at a title - was only worried about how much money he could squeeze from the organization.

Advertisement
Duce Staley finally did report to the Philadelphia Eagles to end a 26-day holdout. But a year later, he was gone, and all the principals involved, fans included, moved on. Staley knows exactly what Hines Ward is going through.

"I was definitely in a similar situation," Staley said. "I was just laughing about it last night."

It's easy to laugh now, but at the time - the 2003 pre-season - Staley felt the world crashing down around him. He used to be known as a winner in Philadelphia, but the term changed not-so-subtly to "whiner". ESPN once ran a nifty little scoreboard that compared all the players who were in camp with all of the players who weren't.

"All the other players, however many it was, on every team were in camp except Duce Staley," he said. "That made me feel bad, worse than anything."

At 28, Staley was coming off his best pro season and he wanted compensated, not only for future years but for being underpaid in the past. But then he had to crawl back to camp without an extension. Staley played out the year as the second-teamer and then was gone, although he did shine in the playoffs.

Remember the Steelers' last playoff game? You can count on one finger the number of Pittsburgh Steelers who played at a championship level, and still Ward, like Staley before him, cannot make a case for past considerations.

"I definitely know what he's going through," said Staley, who was the subject of resentment even after returning. He doesn't expect Ward will see a similar fate.

"No. He's well loved," Staley said. "You can't even measure the time, commitment and work he's put in on the field. You can't even measure it. You can't measure his heart; you can't measure his determination. He's a warrior."

Rest of the article: http://www.heraldstandard.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14967186&BRD=2280&PAG=461&dept_id=468632&rfi=6

BlitzburghRockCity
08-03-2005, 01:31 AM
I'd expect the fans to cheer on Ward assuming he comes back in some type of timely manner. As long as its a short holdout without alot of harsh words exchanged. He'll get some boos for sure, but he's so well admired by all the fans that not even this, unless it turns really ugly, will turn everyone against him.

Prosdo
08-03-2005, 01:41 AM
I think one thing that helps Ward is he has always been a very classy guy. When I met him a few years ago he was very friendly and talkative with the fans. Fans appreciate that and remember that.

pitt
08-03-2005, 12:11 PM
If Ward sits out most of training camp, many of the fans are going to turn on him. Right now he is a fan favorite because of his talent and personality. Thats only going to get him so far though.

SteelR1
08-03-2005, 04:36 PM
If Ward sits out most of training camp, many of the fans are going to turn on him. Right now he is a fan favorite because of his talent and personality. Thats only going to get him so far though.


I agree but I also think that fans are happy when were winning. Even if Ward holds out into preseason and plays in the regular season and catches TD's after TD"s, the fans will love him again.
As long as the Steelers are winning, the fans are usually happy!!!!!

Prosdo
08-04-2005, 12:30 AM
I saw on some other boards that people were putting what kind of contract Hines should get. What do you all think in terms of years and the overall yearly salary?

SteelProven
08-04-2005, 01:27 PM
I saw on some other boards that people were putting what kind of contract Hines should get. What do you all think in terms of years and the overall yearly salary?


5 yrs 32.5 million


That does get him among the upperechlon receivers. In terms of money

redst3
08-04-2005, 02:21 PM
I want Hines to come in, but the bottom line is its his talent and therefore his to do with what he wants.

I personally don?t get it, how much dough do you need, but?..

I?m not walking around in his shoes. I?ve been waiting on the guys for many years now, and its going to be nearly impossible for them to put together another grat one without their two starting wideouts.

bigbensgirl7
08-05-2005, 03:32 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/columnist/2005-08-03-corbett_x.htm

Ward's stand: A man processing his e-ticket recently at an Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport kiosk looked familiar.

A low-slung sun hat, sunglasses and brown T-shirt emblazoned with Good Times, the 1970s sitcom featuring Jimmy Walker, couldn't camouflage one of the elite receivers.

"That's me," Hines Ward says of the T-shirt. "Good Times. I'm always positive."

But his smile couldn't hide wounded pride when it came to discussing the deal he says was promised but has yet been proffered by the Steelers. Without one, he vows the Steelers will be playing this season without arguably their most valuable and versatile offensive weapon.

Even as he prepared to hold out, Ward headed to Pittsburgh in case his agent called to say a new deal had been struck.

But Ward later turned down an offer including nearly $9 million guaranteed, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Ward is seeking guaranteed money similar to the $17 million guaranteed Marvin Harrison on last year's seven-year, $66 million extension.

"I want $16-$18 million guaranteed over the next three years," says Ward. "I was told in a meeting at the end of the year by (coach) Bill Cowher and (director of football operations) Kevin Colbert that I would receive the highest signing bonus ever (by a receiver)."

"I love football and I don't want to miss practices with my teammates. But the Steelers don't value receivers. And I'm (ticked) off."

Here's what's wrong with this picture: The Steelers could afford to let Plaxico Burress go since he didn't play or block with Ward's fearless tenacity.

The Giants gave Burress $8 million in guaranteed money, only slightly less than the Steelers offered Ward, 30.

The Steelers need to step up or else they risk taking a big step back in the

Prosdo
08-05-2005, 03:37 PM
"But Ward later turned down an offer including nearly $9 million guaranteed, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Ward is seeking guaranteed money similar to the $17 million guaranteed Marvin Harrison on last year's seven-year, $66 million extension."

I don't know about that. He said he didn't want Harrison money. Who knows I guess.

bigbensgirl7
08-05-2005, 03:39 PM
I don't think anyone knows except him, his agents, and the FO

BengalBrian
08-06-2005, 09:19 PM
Ward does deserve more.. But a contract is a contract and I think sittin out makes him an asshat...

Before you jump all over me.. Its not me bashing.. Pollack is an asshat too

BlitzburghRockCity
08-07-2005, 02:23 AM
I too think, if you're in a contract, then you play it out. You can complain and gripe that you want an extension and raise. But you still signed on the dotted line, so play out and then look for the big payday.

If ward sticks to this wanting Harrison money, we'll never do it. I'd almost bet money the rooneys arent giving anyone that kind of contract. If they do, Ward would be the one to get it for sure, but the way we negoiate and handle the finances I just dont see that kinda thing happening.

Although, you gotta start out high, to come down to the number you really want. So we'll see.