Driving in to work today, I heard on the local sports station that the Steelers were going to release Hines Ward. I have to say as much as it makes sense, I just wasn’t ready for hearing it. Ward was the face of the Steelers for years, I really felt that without him in particular, the Steelers wouldn’t have won the Super Bowls they were in. He had that “it” factor that just made him better in big games.
At 35 and almost no tread on his tires, he has very limited options at this point. I mean there aren’t a whole lot of franchises looking for 35 year old number 2 receivers. His 46 catches last season was the lowest since his rookie season and so were his 382 yards receiving. That being said, he ended his tenure with the Steelers with 1000 career receptions, blowing away the previously held record of 537 from John Stallworth. You know how I stand for receivers with over 1000 receptions and the Hall of Fame.
Now Ward finds himself in an awkward position, retire as a Steeler or try and hang on for a few more seasons on multiple teams until you call it a career. Personally I think he should stick around for at least one more season, even if that means not being on the Steelers. I think they might know something though, I think the wheels have finally come off. It’s awkward any way you look at it for Ward. I always like players going out on their own terms. I hate to see a release and retirement after.
As for his autographed cards, there are not as many as you would think and the ones that are around go for between $45 and $50 on eBay. I don’t think they are going to come down in price at all, and in my opinion, he should be heading to Canton at some point meaning that the cards might even increase in value. Definitely a keeper in any personal collection. He sure is going to be missed in his Steeler black and gold.