Steelers undecided on Ward's future
Difficult decisions loom, as the Steelers work to get in compliance with the salary cap by March 13.
None have been made regarding perhaps the most difficult of them all, which leaves wide receiver Hines Ward's future with the team in question.
"To this current point, no final decisions have been made," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday. "We've had several discussions internally."
An NFL Network report surfaced Friday that the Steelers will not bring back Ward, their all-time leading receiver, for a 15th season. Ward wants to retire as a Steeler, and he is willing to restructure a contract that has two years left on it at $4 million per season.
The Steelers have saved around $18 million in salary cap money by restructuring three contracts and making a couple of roster moves. They entered the offseason around $25 million over the cap, a figure that is fluid because teams won't find out until early March what the salary cap's ceiling is for 2012.
Ward has no plans to retire, and his return to the Steelers will be largely dictated by football and not finances.
Ward, who lost his starting job to Antonio Brown last season, turns 36 next month. If the Steelers aren't convinced he can still be a productive player, they are likely to cut ties with one of the most popular players in team history.
"Any player that's been a part of your success, it's very difficult to part ways with," Colbert said, "and the longer a player's been here and the more he's done for the organization, the tougher it is to make those kinds of moves. That's all part of the business."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Starting DEs not leaving the field
- Opposing TEs took differing paths to greatness
- Steelers quarterback Vick getting more acquainted with offense
- New-look Steelers secondary is gaining some cohesion
- Steelers hoping to establish run early against San Diego
- Steelers’ Bryant returns from drug suspension, ‘won’t happen again’
- New Steelers kicker Boswell ready for challenge at Heinz
- Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell shrugs off Ravens WR’s comments
- Steelers cut Scobee, sign free agent kicker Boswell
- Steelers QB Roethlisberger not targeting Oct. 25 return
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not worried about Jones’ lack of sacks