A lot of sad fans in Pittsburgh today. After 14 years with the Steelers, Hines Ward has been released from his contract. During his tenure with the team, he’s been a Super Bowl champ twice, a Super Bowl MVP and appeared in four Pro Bowls. It’s hard to believe that he will no longer don that black and yellow jersey again.
Steeler Nation is grieving. Ward had an amazing 14 years in Pittsburgh. Truly a class act. I’m disappointed that the Steelers organization let him go. 14 years, I guess loyalty doesn’t do much anymore, eh?
President Art Rooney II said on the steelers.com website today:
“He has meant so much to this organization both on and off the field, and we appreciate his efforts over the past 14 years. Hines’ accomplishments are numerous, and he will always be thought of as one of the all-time great Steelers. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Ward released a statement following the Steelers’ announcement.
“This isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end. I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here 14 years ago. I want to thank the organization, my teammates and coaches and everyone who made my run as a Steeler the best years of my life. To Mr. Rooney, thank you for allowing me to play for one of the greatest organizations in the world. To my fans and in particular, Steeler Nation, thank you for your support and all the great memories. I gave my heart and soul for you every down and I will always bleed black and gold.”
So what lies ahead for the 36-year-old Ward? Will he retire? Nope. Ward said he’s not done playing football and is looking forward to the upcoming season. Hmm. How does sunny Arizona sound to you, Hines? The Cardinals could use someone like you.
I’m so sorry to see Hines go. It’s too bad that he wasn’t able to retire wearing a Steelers uniform. He will be sorely missed!
Photos: www.wenn.com/Nikki Nelson