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Old 01-11-2012, 04:45 AM   #1
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Default On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Chris Schneider/Associated Press
Hines Ward runs off the field in Denver after Sunday's stunning loss. Some believe it will be Ward's last game in a Steelers uniform. But maybe not.


Hines Ward wants to make a few things perfectly clear: He wants to play for the Steelers in 2012, but, if they do not want him, he still wants to play next season

He just does not want to think about the second part of the equation at the moment.
"It would be weird, not how I want it to happen," Ward said of playing for another team next season. "But I do want to play. I still think I can play. I'm not even thinking like that -- what if. If that scenario happens, I'll be devastated, but I do want to play football."
He understands he would have to take a pay cut from his $4 million salary next season. He has two seasons left on his contract and is willing to do that. Such a decision must be made, however, by March 1 because Ward said a clause in his contract states that they must guarantee his job by then or release him.
"I'd probably have to restructure my contract," Ward said of the pay cut. "That's fine with me. I recognize that. I'm telling you I want to be here, I'm telling you I'm willing to do that. And I understand the ramifications -- we have the cap number and stuff, but I want to be here."
As for not starting, Ward noted that happened this season.
"Obviously, I was a starter, and then it went the way it did. That's fine, I don't have a problem with not starting. But I want to play, I want to try to win another Super Bowl. I want to do it for this organization. I want to help this team out. I still think I can help this team, on the field, off the field with the younger guys, still be there for the team. I'm willing to do all that."
No one has talked to him yet about his future, Ward said. He will have minor surgery on his right ankle to shave down bone spurs. He also is looking forward to a rest after a year in which he played football into the Super Bowl in February, had knee surgery, won "Dancing With the Stars," had surgery on his thumb and rejoined his teammates for the 2011 season after the lockout ended.
If the Steelers do not want him back next season, Ward hopes fans understand if he signs elsewhere.
"I want to be here. I mean, if they decide they don't want me here, it's not my choice. I wouldn't see why Steelers fans would be angry at me, if I still think I can play. I want to play here. I don't want to put on another uniform, but, at the end of the day, it's not my choice. There's nothing I can do about it."
Ward will turn 36 March 8 and noted "They always say play as long as you can.
"The biggest thing, like Tony Gonzalez, these guys are older than me. And I don't hear if they're retiring or not. Donald Driver, a year older than me, still playing good football...
"I'm just looking year to year, but I do want to play next year. If they decide to part ways, I'll be devastated, but life's not over. I'm still young.
"My thing is, I want to be a Steeler, I'm here, I'm willing to restructure, do whatever. I don't want to be seen in another uniform but, if they decide to part ways, or whatever, I don't know, I'm not even thinking like that. I couldn't even fathom myself [in another uniform], but I still want to play football."
Emmanuel Sanders, one of those young Steelers receivers who helped push Ward down the depth chart, knows where the team's future lies at the position. He also believes there is room for Ward.
"If he comes back, we are going to welcome him with open arms," said Sanders, who completed his second season by leading the Steelers in receiving in the playoff loss Sunday in Denver. "Hines has helped the receiving corps a lot. He definitely taught me, Antonio [Brown] and Mike [Wallace] what it takes to be a pro in this league. So, he is a great addition to this receiving corps.
"We know the direction in which we are going with the receiving corps. But, again, Hines is still a great addition. Just the knowledge he brings to the room, you can't pay for that, you can't coach that. He just brings that well-being of how to be a pro into the room."
For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com and Twitter @EdBouchette.


Read more:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12011...#ixzz1j94Hjatp
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

If Ward doesn't over value himself, I would hold on to him as the #5 option at receiver. If he wants a penny more than he is worth at this point, let him walk.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

There is still a place for Ward here. If we can get Wallace to resign (he is a RFA) and Cotchery to resign (UFA) we could go into next season without worrying about adding to our WR's. I think Ward understands he is the 5th WR and reading the article appears to be OK with that. We will make a run again at the Super Bowl next season and having Ward there to help as a player/coach if you will would be a great benefit from the leadership point of view. Let him ride off into the sunset like Bettis and perhaps he can put together a sting of games like bettis did to help us reach our goal.
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

Its Vet min, there is no point to paying a 5th wr anymore. No one else is going to pay him much more than that.
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

Quote:
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Its Vet min, there is no point to paying a 5th wr anymore. No one else is going to pay him much more than that.
I agree that the Steelers shouldn't offer him much more than veteran minimum, but I disagree no one else will. You couldn't see Dan Snyder paying him a decent amount to come to D.C.? Or how about the Patriots? I could see them making playing in Boston worth his while. Not saying anyone should give him a payday, but there are a few teams that I could see doing it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

I don't know how anyone would pay him a decent amount. Do they pats need him? What does he bring to the table that would put someone over the top?

Keep in mind a typical 5th wr is playing special teams and pulling double duty. I don't think Ward is a special teamer. So another position has to step up there as well.

He may be a 400-500 yard wr thats it. Also if you notice, Ben likes throwing to him. Now Ben this year couldve only been throwing to him to get him the milestone marks. There are a lot of bubble to him. He also dropped his fair share of passes.
The more concerning piece is, afte Dancing with the Stars, he shouldve been in such tip top shape to ward of injurioes that we would not have had a problem. He works muscles he never knew he had, lol. Yet he still missed and sat out the bulk of practices.

He brings a lot to the team, but imo vet min is about it, maybe with some bonus's. But I'm not sure how you bonus a 5th wr fairly from the team standpoint
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

Did Ward fall off that much or is Arians not calling plays for him cause he can't go deep? Or is it since we don't run the ball we don't need Ward to block as much anymore? This guy can still find the soft spots in opposing defenses, but Arians thinks all the soft spots are 40 yards down the field. I understand the emergence of the new toys (Wallace, Brown, etc.) but Ward can still move the chains and get us red zone td's.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

Vet minimum and keep him as a strong back up that knows the system and can help continue the others to grow and learn from a master at his craft.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

Good point on Arians, but since Arians is back, does that question matter?lol

Hines did drop more passes this year prorated of course. I think his production has definately dropped off. Plus you know Ben targets him first, so even with that its off.
He can stay, just at 25% imo. But he won't be a special teamer and that requires someone else to step in for him.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: On the Steelers: Ward would be OK with pay cut

He has so much value to this team I would be sad to see him go. If he's willing to restructure, we would be stupid to not bring him back.
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