Hines Ward WR PIT May 31 '12

Former Steelers WR Hines Ward has joined NBC as an analyst across the NBC Sports Group's NFL, college, and studio programming.

Ward will contribute to Sunday's Football Night in America, serve as a studio analyst on NBC's college football programming, and also work for NBC Sports Network. As a former Super Bowl MVP and Dancing with the Stars winner, Ward brings plenty of star power to his new endeavor. "I am really excited," said Ward. "It's not everyday that you get the chance to work for a powerhouse like the NBC Sports Group."

Hines Ward WR PIT Mar 20 '12

Free agent Hines Ward announced Tuesday he is retiring from the NFL after 14 seasons.

Hines Ward WR PIT Mar 05 '12

Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 in Arizona is "hearing" that the Cardinals don't have any interest in Hines Ward.

The connection with Ward's ex-Steelers coaches is obvious, but they eye in the sky doesn't lie. Ward wants to play again, but we can't imagine any team giving him more than a cursory look in training camp. Those types of players get signed deep into the offseason, not in the first days of free agency.

Hines Ward WR PIT Mar 04 '12

Free agent Hines Ward's 8.3 yards per catch average was the lowest in the league for a wide receiver with at least 40 receptions last season.

The statistic was pointed out by a personnel director whose franchise was rumored to be interested in Ward. Devoid of playmaking ability and battling concussions the past two seasons, Ward may not be granted his wish to play at least one more season.

Hines Ward WR PIT Mar 01 '12

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed on SportsCenter that free agent Hines Ward "wants to play at least another season."

"Make no mistake about it," Schefter emphasized. Some NFL analysts have pleaded with Ward to retire, but he seems intent on playing one more year. Schefter mentioned the Jags, Cardinals, and Browns as potential suitors. On NFL Network Total Access Wednesday night, Jason La Canfora suggested the Buccaneers.

Hines Ward WR PIT Feb 29 '12

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, free agent Hines Ward's release from the Steelers had everything to do with the fact that the coaching staff feels "he can't play anymore."

"He could've offered to play for free and (it) wouldn't matter," writes Dulac. "Ward would have been a Sunday inactive if the Steelers kept him. They didn't want him taking a roster spot at the expense of a developing young player." Ward may get one last shot from a coach loyal to him, but he shouldn't be guaranteed a roster spot. His athleticism has evaporated at age 36.

Hines Ward WR PIT Feb 29 '12

According to Pro Football Focus, 16 of free agent Hines Ward's 46 catches in 2011 occurred behind the line of scrimmage.

The Steelers pulled out stops to get Ward to 1,000 career receptions, the number with which he finished the season (and potentially his career). It's worth noting that the Steelers' statement announcing Ward's release indicated they have no intentions of bringing him back at a lower salary. Arizona and Jacksonville are two teams that could show interest due to coaching staff connections, but retirement may be the likeliest outcome at this point.

Hines Ward WR PIT Feb 29 '12

Steelers released WR Hines Ward.

A 14-year Steeler, four-time Pro Bowler, and the franchise's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, Ward's separation skills have vanished and he is no longer quick enough to be a productive slot receiver. The Steelers may have considered trying to redo Ward's contract because of his decorated history, but ultimately the opportunity to keep Mike Wallace ranked much higher on the organization's priorities. At age 36, Ward will struggle to generate interest on the open market. He may have to settle for a one-year contract for the veteran's minimum in order to keep playing football.

Hines Ward WR PIT Feb 23 '12

GM Kevin Colbert says the Steelers remain undecided on Hines Ward's future with the team, but that more "terminations' are expected in the coming weeks.

It's the closest Colbert has come to admitting Ward's time in Pittsburgh is through. Colbert also assured Thursday that the Steelers plan to do "everything (they) can" to re-sign restricted free agent Mike Wallace. It's extremely unlikely they'll have the money to do so without first releasing Ward.

Hines Ward WR PIT Feb 22 '12

Hines Ward's DUI charge from last July has been dropped in favor of reckless driving and failure to maintain lane.

Ward isn't getting preferential treatment. It's customary in Georgia for DUI charges to be reduced to reckless driving when there's no breathalyzer evidence. Police allege that Ward failed multiple field sobriety tests, but the Steelers receiver refused the breathalyzer test.