According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers never asked Hines Ward to take a pay cut because the coaches simply believe he can’t play anymore. Even if he’d play for free, they wouldn’t keep him around.
Ward made it clear in a statement released by his agent that he believes he can still play in the NFL.
“This isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end,” Ward said in a statement released through his lawyer and manager, Andy Reed. “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. I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season.”
Ward will turn 36 years-old in about a week is is clearly in denial that he’s can no longer get the separation from defenders.Follow PFZ on Twitter @ProFootballZone