Hines Ward Retires: Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Formally Announces Retirement

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2012

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Wide receiver Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs for yards after the catch on a 38-yard reception in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward retired from the NFL on Tuesday, according to Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network, ending a brilliant career worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.

Press release: Steelers’ all-time leading wide receiver, Hines Ward, has announced that he will retire after 14 seasons with Pittsburgh.

— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) March 20, 2012

 

Per the team's official website, Pittsburgh was going to release the 36-year-old Ward this offseason. He made the wise decision to retire rather than put on a jersey different from the black and yellow of the Steelers.

He is the Steelers' all-time leader in receptions, and ranks eighth on the NFL's all-time receptions list (1,000), 18th in receiving yards (12,083) and 13th in touchdown catches (85).

Ward and San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice are the only wide receivers in league history to catch at least 1,000 passes and win two Super Bowl titles. Ward was also the MVP of Super Bowl XL, and is one of three receivers to win the award since Super Bowl XXIII in 1989.

Ward played his entire 14-year career for the Steelers and was one of the league's most dependable players during that time, never playing in fewer than 13 games in a season.

In addition to Ward being a fantastic pass-catcher, his run-blocking skills as a wide receiver were spectacular. It was another dimension of his game that few of his peers had.

A model of consistency, Ward was one of the best receivers of the 2000s. You always knew he would give you 100 percent effort on every play, whether the ball was coming his way or if he was blocking in the running game.