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Steelers announce they will release Hines Ward

Hines Ward

CORRECTS SCORE TO 29-23 - Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) walks off the field after the Steelers lost 29-23 to the Denver Broncos in overtime of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)


After 14 seasons, 1,000 catches and one Super Bowl MVP award, Hines Ward’s time with the Steelers is coming to an end.

The Steelers announced today that they will release Ward, in a widely expected but still difficult decision.

“We had a conversation today with Hines Ward and informed him that we plan to release him of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year,” Steelers President Art Rooney II told “Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998 and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve. He has meant so much to this organization, both on and off the field, and we appreciate his efforts over the past 14 years. Hines’ accomplishments are numerous, and he will always be thought of as one of the all-time great Steelers. We wish him nothing but the best.”

Ward, who will turn 36 next week, has been with the Steelers since they selected him in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft. He has won two Super Bowl rings, been chosen to four Pro Bowls and is the team’s all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.