Conflicting reports on Hines Ward

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
9:30
AM ET
There are conflicting reports on Hines Ward's future with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The NFL Network reported Saturday that sources indicated that the Steelers have decided not to keep the longtime wide receiver. A day later, team sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that no decision has been made on Ward, although the paper didn't rule out his eventual release.

Ward issued a statement on Facebook to address the report on NFL Network:

"I don't normally like to respond to rumors, but as I've said all along, I want to finish my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And as I've already told the organization, I am willing to work with them to restructure my contract to make sure this happens."

Ward, who turns 36 next month, has two years remaining on his contract and is scheduled to make $4 million in 2012 and 2013. He said that he's spoken with Steelers president Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin since the season ended.

My take on the situation is it doesn't make sense for the Steelers to keep Ward if they are set on Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders as their top-three wide receivers. Pittsburgh relied more on Jerricho Cotchery, who could be re-signed in free agency, than Ward in the second half of the season.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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