Steelers to release Hines Ward

February 29, 2012

The Pittsburgh Steelers will release wide receiver Hines Ward, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and former Super Bowl most valuable player. The team informed Ward of the decision Wednesday, the Steelers announced.

“Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998 and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a written statement on the team’s web site. “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.”

Ward, who turns 36 next week, had 46 catches for just 381 yards and two touchdowns last season. It was his fewest receiving yards in a season since his rookie year with the Steelers in 1998.

The Steelers said they would make the move by March 13, when NFL teams must be in compliance with the salary cap. Ward would have earned a salary of $4 million next season if he had remained with the team.

In 14 seasons with the Steelers, Ward had 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. He had six seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards, most recently in 2009.

--Mark Maske

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