Steelers WR Hines Ward officially announced his retirement this afternoon. It was a pretty emotional day for Ward to say the least, but he maintained that he couldn’t see himself playing for any team other than the Steelers next season.
This is a pretty sad situation because he clearly wasn’t ready to hang it up just yet, but Pittsburgh wasn’t going to waste the roster spot on an aging veteran that can no longer separate from opposing defensive backs when they have a number of young receivers that are in need of playing time. Ward previously said that he would move on if the Steelers chose to release him but I doubt he found much of any interest from other teams. Retiring as a Steeler will prevent him from being dealt another blow to his ego and allow him to join the short list of great players that played their entire careers with one organization.
It’s sad when great players are forced to walk away from the game, but it’s just part of the modern era of sports.