Can't Ward and Steelers just get along
I have watched the Steelers as a kid, as an adult fan, and as a member of the media, for over 40 years. If pressed to name my favorite player during that time, which includes the four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s, I would have to go with Hines Ward. I love the way he plays the game and when you toss in attitude and personality it's a no-brainer. But it's hard to side with him in a holdout situation when he has an exisiting contract.
I understand this is the only way he has bargaining power. I understand that football teams hold the trump card and have the ablility to cut a player in the middle of an existing contract. But that isn't breaking the deal, it's legal under the system and that is part of what a player buys into when he puts his name on the dotted line in the first place. If you don't like the system, hold out for a no-cut contract. Yea, that will happen. But once you sign, if your word is good, you should live up to the deal. Many say the Steelers have not made Ward the priority that they promised they would. Bull. Their offer is at least good enough to have him come to camp while negotiations continue. I'm 99% in Ward's court. He's produced. He' s been underpaid. He deserves a new deal. But he also signed the paper. That has to be worth something at some point.
CBA's drug policy is getting ripped in Washington. The new policy allows for players to be tested a maximum of twice a year without warning. Those caught using a performance-enhancer would be suspended for 20 games for a first offense and 60 games for a second offense. A third offense could lead to a permanent ban. The House Committee on Government reform says it has serious concerns about the policy. They would like to see at least five tests a year. The worst part of the plan to me is the fact that there can be no testing on game day, during the playoffs, or during the offseason. Forget five tests. Any day is gameday in my book.