Steelers tell Ward he will be released
PITTSBURGH | Hines Ward’s constant, ear-to-ear smile tucked behind a black face mask has been a lasting image for Pittsburgh Steelers fans the past 14 seasons. They won’t see it again. A four-time Pro Bowl selection who holds franchise records for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, Ward, 35, will be released by the organization that drafted him in 1998.
“We had a conversation today with Hines Ward and informed him that we plan to release him of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a statement Wednesday on the team’s website. “Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998, and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve.”
A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Ward will finish his Steelers career with 1,000 catches, 12,083 yards and 85 receiving touchdowns. He helped Pittsburgh to three AFC championships and two Super Bowl titles.