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Old 08-13-2005, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

The Steelers are talking with Ward?s agent, although a source with the team said no numbers have been discussed, only a framework and basic contract structures.

The Steelers say Ward is asking for top-three money among wide receivers. They believe he ranks among the next tier. They?re willing to pay at least $10 million in guaranteed money.

The three highest paid wide receivers are Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens.

The Steelers are altering their policy slightly by talking with Ward?s agent; they vowed they wouldn?t at the start of his holdout.

However, they?re adamant about committing to their regular-season policy. The Steelers won?t negotiate once the season begins for fear of setting a precedent. Ward would have to return to play in six games to be credited for this contract year.

The current negotiations could take a turn either way Monday night when the Steelers host the Philadelphia Eagles in the first preseason game at 8 p.m. (ESPN).

If the Steelers? wide receivers perform poorly, as they have this week, the fans ? and possibly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger -- would make their voices heard.

The Steelers have been playing with a new crop of receivers most of the week, and it reflected poorly on the quarterbacks. All five receivers from last year?s roster were either out of town or injured. Even Walter Young of last year's practice squad has been out with an injury.

Antwaan Randle El and Sean Morey returned to practice Saturday. If they help the Cedrick Wilson-led receiving corps Monday night, perhaps the Steelers? bargaining position would improve.

Randle El doesn?t believe one game will have that much of an impact.

?People have already made up their minds either way,? he said. ?One preseason game isn?t going to change anyone?s mind.?

Randle El will start at split end Monday, while Wilson will start at Ward?s flanker position. Randle El has been struggling with hamstring and ankle problems, but is comfortable at split end.

?It?s a position designed for playmakers, go-getters, ballplayers,? Randle El said. ?That fits me.?
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Old 08-13-2005, 07:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

This is great news, hopefully they work it out!
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Old 08-13-2005, 07:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

Did anyone here this on ESPN?

A report on ESPN Thursday night said Ward is resigned to sitting out the first six games of the season before reporting. When asked yesterday about the report, coach Bill Cowher said, "I don't want to comment on that."
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

There's a lot of things that are going to go on next week as far as talks between H. Ward agents and the FO. I believe something will get work out before it goes to the sixth game of the seaason. Hopefully
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

Hope they do too. But also agree with El, mondays game will not determine anything.
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

I always viewed the first preseason game to be the moving day. Each side wants to see who can gain the bargaining advantage. I would expect to see a little action the week after game 1, nothing exciting, just a little more writing on the wall either way. If we do well, then it might speed up Wards willingness to return sooner for less. I do think we wont return until he has to because of fear of injury, but its his mental price tag that will be changing the whole time.
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

Well, its a ray of hope..no matter how small, its something we can put hopes on for a couple more days..
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

I guess any movement toward signing him is good news... Hopefully it can be resolved before regular season starts......
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

Im confused??? Is this your story or did you see/hear about this?
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Old 08-13-2005, 10:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Break in Ward talks looms Monday night

This is all I found and it doesnt look promising. I'll be positive and say at least their talking :)

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05225/553553.stm
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