ESPN.com is reporting the the Pittsburgh Steelers have resigned Hines Ward to an contract extension.
The deal is reportedly for four years and $22 million dollars. The Pittsburgh Steelers have apparently structured the deal to give themselves valuable salary cap room (read, Hines Ward did not get much of a bonus.)
- Hines Ward had been scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the Steelers 2009 season.
Reflecting on this possiblity, Steelers Digest Editor Bob Labriola suggested that Ward might be contemplating retirement, and he suggested that the Steelers begin preparing for that possiblity.
As Steelers OTA’s began two weeks ago, Ward sounded like anything but a man who was thinking about hanging it up, or itching to see if the grass really was greener on the other side.
- Instead Hines Ward expressed his desire to play his entire career as a Steeler.
With a four year extension in hand, it looks like he will do that. And Steelers Nation should give thanks.
Hines Ward Contract Confirmed, but Not Yet Signed
Later in the day, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette confirmed the story with Ward’s agent, Eugene Parker. Parker confirmed that an agreement had been reached, both out of a desire on the part of Ward to finish his playing days in Pittsburgh and on the part of the Steelers, who needed salary cap space.
While an agreement has been reached, it has not yet been signed, and could be either four our five years in length.