Hines Ward is one of the iconic Pittsburgh Steelers. As such, Ward playing football in anything but black and gold would feel like a mismatch.
But NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora told “NFL Total Access” Friday that Ward won’t be back next season, according to his sources.
As the Steelers work to restructure contracts and manuever below the salary cap, the circumstances are dictating the twilight of Ward’s 14-year career. On the books, he has two years and $8 million left on his current contract. On the field, Ward also took a backseat to youngsters Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, posting his lowest receiving totals since his rookie season in 1998.
The Steelers have adjusted the contracts of CB Ike Taylor and linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley. They might not be done, as La Canfora suggested S Troy Polamalu ($6.25 million next season) and QB Ben Roethlisberger ($11.6) could be next.
Ward has left the window open to playing elsewhere next season, but the choice might not be his if he can’t work out his own restructured deal.