Hampton to return; Ward's future uncertain with Steelers
TribLIVE Sports Videos
INDIANAPOLIS — Casey Hampton's third major knee injury apparently won't stop the Steelers from bringing the veteran nose tackle back next season.
Hines Ward's future with the Steelers is less certain, and the veteran receiver remains in a holding pattern because the team isn't expected to release any more players until early March.
General manager Kevin Colbert said no decision has been made about Ward. The Steelers' all-time leading receiver has two years left on his contract and is willing to restructure his deal so he can return for a 15th season in Pittsburgh.
"I think there's value in having any experienced player because you want someone to show (younger receivers) the way beyond their coaches," Colbert said. "Ultimately, that player has to be able to help you win — not only be a mentor, but be a contributor, as well."
The Steelers apparently think Hampton still can contribute.
Colbert didn't hesitate to say "yes" when asked if Hampton will play for the team next season.
Hampton suffered his third torn ACL last month in Denver.
Colbert said Hampton's history with knee injuries will actually help him as he works his way back.
"He knows what to expect," Colbert said. "He knows how to do this."
> > Colbert said the Steelers hope to re-sign veteran quarterbacks Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich. Batch served as Ben Roethlisberger's backup last season after Leftwich suffered a season-ending arm injury in a preseason game.
"I think they're comfortable being a part of (the team), and I think they're open (to returning)," Colbert said.
He also said he expects Dennis Dixon, an unrestricted free agent, to go elsewhere after the free-agent signing period starts March 13.
"I don't think the league has seen the best of Dennis Dixon only because he's behind a great quarterback, and he's been held back by some injuries," Colbert said.
> > The Steelers offered running back Isaac Redman, defensive tackle Steve McLendon and punter Jeremy Kapinos one-year contracts. They are exclusive-rights free agents and can't entertain offers from other teams.
> > The Steelers have the 24th overall pick in this year's draft, and Colbert said quarterback is the only every-down position the team won't consider with that selection.
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 to retire Joe Greene’s jersey number
- Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
- GM Colbert expects Roethlisberger to end career with Steelers
- Inside the ropes: Shazier shows off speed
- Steelers hoping that youth movement breathes life into team
- Steelers notebook: Ben believes rookie WR Bryant can contribute
- Roethlisberger ‘prays’ he can stay with Steelers when deal expires
- Steelers hope group of low-budget cornerbacks can deliver
- Steelers linebacker Spence confident he can avoid injury setbacks
- Steelers notebook: Team hasn’t called on Keisel, Harrison yet
- Inside the ropes: Roethlisberger may have his big receiver