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Old 07-31-2005, 10:49 PM   #61
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer - Threatens to sit out entire season

Man I hope this thing gets resolved. We need him, and everybody else for that matter.....
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:28 PM   #62
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer - Threatens to sit out entire season

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.
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:30 PM   #63
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer - Threatens to sit out entire season

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/trib.../s_359045.html
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:35 PM   #64
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer - Threatens to sit out entire season

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!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:51 AM   #65
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Default Stalemate

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

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Old 08-01-2005, 10:08 AM   #66
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Default Re: Stalemate

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.
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:26 AM   #67
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Default Re: Stalemate

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.
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Old 08-01-2005, 11:53 AM   #68
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Default Re: Stalemate

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.
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:34 PM   #69
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Default Re: Stalemate

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.
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:11 PM   #70
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer - Threatens to sit out entire season

"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?
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