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Hines Ward says he would take a pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh

Hines Ward

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward waves to fans after a 13-9 win over the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Cleveland. Ward became the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)


Hines Ward doesn’t want to retire. And if the Steelers don’t want him next year, he’ll try to find a job elsewhere.

“It would be weird, not how I want it to happen,” Ward told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But I do want to play. I still think I can play. I’m not even thinking like that -- what if. If that scenario happens, I’ll be devastated, but I do want to play football.”

Ward is due $4 million next season. He knows he’ll have to take a pay cut and is willing to do so.

“I want to be here, I’m telling you I’m willing to do that,” Ward said. “And I understand the ramifications -- we have the cap number and stuff, but I want to be here.”

The Steelers may be ready to move on. They have their top three out wide: Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders.

Ward’s production fell dramatically this year. He averaged only 8.6 yards-per-catch and didn’t top 400 yards receiving. It was his worst yardage total since he was a rookie in 1998.