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.
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.