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Hines Ward Plans To Play Even If It’s Not In Pittsburgh

On Monday a report came out that one of Steelers WR Hines Ward‘s teammates expected him to retire following Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos.

That report appears to be a little premature as Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Ward intends to play next season.

Anyone who thinks Hines Ward will retire hasn’t been around him much,” writes Bouchette. “He plans to play in 2012, whether it’s with the Steelers or somewhere else.”

One interesting note mentioned by Bouchette is that the Steelers will have to make a decision regarding Wards bonus by March which could eliminate the final two seasons of contract.

If Ward is released by the Steelers, one speculative option could be the Arizona Cardinals as head coach Ken Whisenhunt spent time with Ward in Pittsburgh. Arizona needs some additional talent and leadership on their offense but’s really hard to assume that Ward can still be an effective in the NFL. Then again that doesn’t always stop teams from signing players who could be “over the hill”.