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Old 07-27-2005, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer - Threatens to sit out entire season

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.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

Thanks for the bad news.....kepp it to yourself next time.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

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.

Last edited by Prosdo; 07-28-2005 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

Now there is talk of a hold-out....

Quote:
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.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

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.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

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.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity
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.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

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 !
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

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.
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Old 07-28-2005, 12:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: WR Ward turns down Steelers' offer

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.
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