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BlitzburghRockCity
08-22-2005, 12:24 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/steelerslive/s_366082.html

For the first time since renegotiations began on his contract extension, Pro Bowl wide receiver Hines Ward said the two sides are on the verge of an agreement.
"It's close. It's close," Ward said late Saturday night, after he played sparingly in a 17-3 preseason win over the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field. "As far as (my agent) told me, it's close. It's just a matter of when. I don't know when. I just have to go out there and continue to fight to get better and not get hurt."

Ward confirmed that the Steelers and his representative, Eugene Parker, have been talking frequently. He also said he feels a sense of satisfaction in knowing the sides are moving toward a resolution.

"We're meeting. It's negotiating," he said. "It's just like when you buy a house. You get a listing price, you go in and put your offer in, then they come in and counter it. You come in, you meet each other halfway - and that's what we're doing right now."



Ward reported to the Steelers a week ago after a 15-day holdout. He was told renegotiations on his current deal, which pays him $1.66 million in its final season, would cease until he reported.

He'd been offered the richest contract in Steelers history, but turned it down prior to the holdout. The Steelers countered, but Ward turned it down.

But the numbers appear to be more agreeable for the two sides, given Ward's recent comments. He is seeking a lucrative signing bonus, which is likely to be in excess of $9 million.

"Things are coming," said the four-time Pro Bowler. "Numbers? I don't know numbers. I don't want to know numbers. (My agent) gave me a ballpark figure somewhere, but I don't know where they're at with their ballpark figures."

By all indications, the deal should be struck before the season opener Sept. 11 against Tennessee at Heinz Field. Ward said he isn't making an all-out push to get things done.

"It's out of my hands," he said.

He continues to fear being injured before a deal is complete. The thought even crossed his mind several times before Saturday's game against the Dolphins, his first since returning to the team. Ward played in a little more than a series and had one catch for 3 yards.

"It's starting to get out of my mind," Ward said of the injury concerns. "Just being out there, I can only play one way. But at the same time, going into the game, you're thinking and you're thinking about it. It popped in there, but when I got on the field, I concentrated on what I was doing and that really took over. I didn't play much, but I feel good being out there."

Ward's only catch came up a yard short of a first down, because he broke off his pattern too early.

"I need to get back out there and to get the game feeling down," Ward said. "I'm still not where I want to be as far as running routes, you saw that. But it's only Day 3 (since returning to the field). It's not a big thing. I'm going to get there. I can tell you I'm going to get there."

Prosdo
08-22-2005, 02:15 AM
As I said in the other thread this is good news. I can't wait till he is signed!

steelersgirl86
08-22-2005, 09:08 AM
:deal: I agree we will all be happy when it is signed and over....

SteelersWyo
08-22-2005, 09:57 AM
I love Hines, but I am tired of spoiled, rich athletes. Me, me, me is all they know. The fans are the ones who buy tickets, jerseys, hats, beer, and so on that keeps the NFL going. How about playing a GAME (and that is all football is) for the fans and love of the game. Not your bank book. How can 1.6 million in a year not be enough?

blairsummit
08-22-2005, 10:48 AM
I love Hines, but I am tired of spoiled, rich athletes. Me, me, me is all they know. The fans are the ones who buy tickets, jerseys, hats, beer, and so on that keeps the NFL going. How about playing a GAME (and that is all football is) for the fans and love of the game. Not your bank book. How can 1.6 million in a year not be enough?
because its not for him. look what he has done over the last four years. he is the face of our franchise. all he is asking for is a little respect from the franchise. he is asking to be payed for what he does. and he does it extremely well. he isnt a "terrell owens" looking to make the max contract. ward is only 39th highest paid at his posistion. that to me is garbage. he deserves at least top 10 or top 5 money. i support hines. he needs a new contract. him being paid 1.6 million for making the pro bowl four years running and about to break team records for recieving is crap. he deserves his money he is asking for.

rowedf
08-22-2005, 11:35 AM
because its not for him. look what he has done over the last four years. he is the face of our franchise. all he is asking for is a little respect from the franchise. he is asking to be payed for what he does. and he does it extremely well. he isnt a "terrell owens" looking to make the max contract. ward is only 39th highest paid at his posistion. that to me is garbage. he deserves at least top 10 or top 5 money. i support hines. he needs a new contract. him being paid 1.6 million for making the pro bowl four years running and about to break team records for recieving is crap. he deserves his money he is asking for.

Ya know, I think we all miss the fact that it's a contract! I agree, he's out played his contract and should be taken care of, which he is. But tell me this, what would have happened, if say he stunk? Say five years ago he signed the same deal, came in and caught 24, 30 32, 28, 33 balls for those five years? Would Ward be lobbying that they should cut his pay because he hasn't played that well and doesn't deserve 1.6 million? That is the point of a contract, you sign a deal and you should fulfill it, that's how it used to be viewed.

The new "super agents" have totally skewed that view and this is what happens. I think it is a nice gesture when owners recognize that a player has performed better than expected and rework a deal for them but it SHOULD NOT be expected by the player! If players or agents feel so strongly about reworking deals, why don't they go with full incentive based contracts, or why not only sign one year deals so each year you can maximize your yearly salary??? In my opinion its greed, they want the long term deal for security, they want the signing bonus up front, and then they want to rework the deal before the contract expires....Think about it, thats pretty pathetic.

blairsummit
08-22-2005, 11:46 AM
Ya know, I think we all miss the fact that it's a contract! I agree, he's out played his contract and should be taken care of, which he is. But tell me this, what would have happened, if say he stunk? Say five years ago he signed the same deal, came in and caught 24, 30 32, 28, 33 balls for those five years? Would Ward be lobbying that they should cut his pay because he hasn't played that well and doesn't deserve 1.6 million? That is the point of a contract, you sign a deal and you should fulfill it, that's how it used to be viewed.

The new "super agents" have totally skewed that view and this is what happens. I think it is a nice gesture when owners recognize that a player has performed better than expected and rework a deal for them but it SHOULD NOT be expected by the player! If players or agents feel so strongly about reworking deals, why don't they go with full incentive based contracts, or why not only sign one year deals so each year you can maximize your yearly salary??? In my opinion its greed, they want the long term deal for security, they want the signing bonus up front, and then they want to rework the deal before the contract expires....Think about it, thats pretty pathetic.

i dont know, but what i do know is he deserves what he is asking for.

SteelersWyo
08-22-2005, 01:00 PM
What a skewed view of the world people seem to have. He is "owed" or is "worth" it. Come on. He signed a contract and should live with it. When a person joins the Marines he has to do the full 4-6 years. No ifs, ands, or buts!!! Your bank will let you try and refinance your home loan, but if no one signs you to a new one guess what? You still have to make the payment under the old terms. Just because he catches a football real well ( and other players) the rules should be different? If any of use does not meet the terms of a contract we signed it could be court or jail time. Maybe when I get tired of my Tahoe I can just void my payment contract and GM will have to give me an Escalade. Stop letting your love of football and the Steelers cloud your objectivity.

ironcitychef
08-23-2005, 07:27 AM
I disagree a little with everyone saying this is like a contract on the outside. One it isnt sure money. So if he feels he could get more money then he by all means has the right to seek out more. Don't you ask your boss for a raise every now and then or do you just let the company decide for you? But like the outside world there are politics to consider. TO is on the wrong side cause he got a contract that has "fair market value" and is pitching a fit. That is like the highest paid employee complaining they have to walk to far from their reserved spot in the parking lot. No one wants to hear it. Ward though has some arguements about desrving more money. So he does what happens on the outside. He calls in sick a few times so the boss will know how valuable he is. Doesn't make it public or a press fit fest, just gets the "blue flu" for a little. Then talks can happen. Two, he wouldn't be doing this if he caught 25-30 passes a year. I can only think of maybe one or two holdouts who try crazy stuff like that based on poor numbers. But just like us, they don't give the money back either. Have any of you given salary back if company goals were not met? So while the contracts are different, the tatics used in getting paid are the same.

rowedf
08-23-2005, 10:44 AM
IronCityChief, how can you compare what Ward did to calling off sick? He said no I'm not coming to camp until I get a new deal. Kind of like saying to your boss, no I'm not coming to work until you give me that raise, what employer would honor that? You'd be fired before you could say hahaah I was just joking.

Why are NFL players any different? They say its their job, it's their employement. A contract is a contract, guaranteed money or not, its still a commitement they made and should honor. I agree, Hines outplayed his contact, and it would be a very nice thing for the Front Office to rework his deal, but NOT mandatory.

Your right, he would not be doing this if he caught 25 or 30 balls a year, but given his current contract and pretending he did catch 25-30 balls wouldn't 1.6 mill a year be too high ? A player would never say, I under perfomed, so don't pay me as much this year, I didn't deserve it. But they sure are quick to say hey look what I did, pay me more or I'm not going to play this year. Its BS!

BlitzburghRockCity
08-23-2005, 07:24 PM
Either way, whether you agree w/ Ward's holdout or not, and Im not saying I do by any means.. the guy stuck to his guns and the Steelers compromised and negoiated w/ his agent during his holdout and still are talking ..so its gonna get done at some point and Hines will be alot richer. It's just the way sports is. It's a business and when your agent starts telling you how much you should be making and how much all these other players are making, it can make even the toughest guy get alittle jealous, envious, self righteous, or whatever you wanna call it.

Again Im not saying its right to hold out when you're under contract but even the mighty team player, the ultimate steeler, the guy who is a peoples champion... knows its a business and in the end is no different than anyone else.

bigbensgirl7
08-23-2005, 08:00 PM
STEELERS BAFFLED BY WARD'S BELIEFS

A league source tells us that the Pittsburgh Steelers and shocked and confused by the notion that a long-term deal with receiver Hines Ward is "close."

Per the source, the only way the deal is "close" is if agent Eugene Parker plans to take the last offer the Steelers made before training camp, since there have been NO substantive discussions between Parker and the team since Ward showed up for training camp last Monday.

But since Ward says that Parker told him that a long-term deal was close, there are only three possibilities. Ward is lying to the media, Parker is lying to Ward, or Ward has misunderstood Parker.

Regardless, there ain't no deal that's close to being done.

WARD STILL MISINFORMED

Steelers receiver Hines Ward apparently was surprised to learn on Monday that teammate Casey Hampton has landed a long-term deal.

Hampton, a 2001 first-round selection, received a four-year extension worth $22.775 million, including a $6.975 million signing bonus. He was scheduled to make $989,065 in 2005, the final year of his rookie contract.

"Everybody worried about [Ward]," Hampton said, "and I just snuck in through the back door and got mine done."

Ward's response to the news? "Hmmm, congratulations."

But Ward still insists that his new own long-term deal is in the pipeline.

"All I can say is they're negotiating with my contract," Ward said.

Wrong, Hines. We've been told repeatedly over the past 24 hours that there have been no substantive discussions since Ward returned to the team on August 15 after a two-week holdout.

But if Ward is going to get a new deal, he'd better tell his agent, Eugene Parker, to get on the horn soon. The Steelers have a policy of not discussing contract extensions once the regular season starts.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm

The deal may not be as close as we have all hoped for. It looks to me like Parker is misleading Ward...I don't know, but this is from a runor mill...so who knowws how much truth there is to this!

BlitzburghRockCity
08-23-2005, 08:28 PM
Well you gotta think something is going on here. Parker is draggin his feet, but this all may be a smoke screen to take the heat off of ward from the media.. let them cool down as a deal is being worked.

Never know, but either way, if the Steelers can break a long standing rule of not negotiating while a player holds out, certainly they can break the one of not talking when the season begins.

bigbensgirl7
08-23-2005, 08:39 PM
Here's one more from PFT
CURRENT OFFER TO WARD IS A BIG ONE

As agent Eugene Parker continues to use a Ouija board to negotiate a long-term deal for receiver Hines Ward with the Steelers, we're told that the team's current offer to Ward would place him among the five highest-paid receivers, based on the money paid in the first three years of the deal.

Consequently, some folks in the front office are getting a little antsy, we're told, regarding Ward's insistence that he wants to be paid among the top ten at the position. After all, he merely needs to sign the current contract to get straight into the top five.

Meanwhile, Ward continues to practice and prepare for the team's next preseason game, to be played on Friday night at Washington, without the security that a big signing bonus would provide. If, God forbid, he tears and ACL or blows an Achilles, he might as well change his name to Ian Gold.

Prosdo
08-23-2005, 09:12 PM
I'm not really going with the PFT articles. Some of the stuff sounds a bit iffy. It's just like some of the other publications. They don't seem to have facts, but supposed sources.

blairsummit
08-23-2005, 10:13 PM
hopefully ward gets the contract he deserves. i wanna see him in black in gold till he retires just like all of you.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-23-2005, 10:30 PM
PFT drives me nuts sometimes w/ the articles they write and it turns out to not be entirely true.. so we really dont know what to believe.. all we can go on is, Ward says they are talking, the Steelers say they are talking..so we'll just hold our breath and wait to see...