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How much longer till Ward hangs up the cleats?

There’s been talk about the future for Hines Ward, as he just signed a 5-year deal on draft day last season in terms of how long he’s going to play. I thought Ward had an outstanding 2009, catching 95 passes for 1167 yards and six touchdowns. Now with Santonio Holmes in New York, Ward is by far the teams #1 wide out.

Ward has said more than once though that if the Steelers can get back to form and capture another Super Bowl, he may think about walking away. “That would be ideal,” Ward said. “That would be a great way to end. I don’t know. It would be a nice way to go out.”

Of course, but I would be willing to bet despite being 34 this season Ward is going to play at least two or three more seasons. He is still playing at a very high level, and still has that same smile every Sunday even if the team is struggling.

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Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. mark

    May 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I think as long as Ward has the fire and is putting up 800-1,000 yard seasons, he has no reason to retire. He has never been the flashy, 15 td, 1500yd guy, so as long as he keeps doing what he does best, I hope he stays as long as he wants! Last season was another typical Ward season. Maybe the Td’s were down, but the fact that he is still a go-to, dependable WR, there is no need to look for his replacement yet.

  2. DrGeorge

    May 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Mark, I agree with you on Ward’s productivity. He will hopefully continue to do his thing for another year or two. But time and hits take their toll on all of us, even NFL greats. At 34, Ward has exceeded by far the average career of a WR. Injury or age will inevitably catch up with him, and the process of finding a substitute has already begun. But like Lynn Swann and John Stallworth before him, there is no one who can truly replace him.

  3. mark

    May 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Amen to that DrGeorge. Stallworth had a few productive years after Swann left, that it is a shame those seasons were lost on the young fans of today. The season he shared with Louis Lipps (1984) was a tremendous one. Stallworth and the rookie Lipps helped the team get to the AFC title game with Mark Malone at QB, remember? That might have been Malone’s best season, but it was a far,far cry from the Bradshaw days, huh? Anyway, if Ward can keep having HIS type of seasons along with mentoring a Mike Wallace or whoever else plays opposite him in the next year or 2, it will be very similar to the 1983,84,85 seasons that Stallworth spent with Lipps,Sweeney and Weegie Thompson!! LOL Ahhh. those were the days , right?

  4. arrow61095

    May 7, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I think Ward has a couple good years left in him. He does a very good job of taking care of himself in the offseason and understands what he needs to do to be successful from a preparation standpoint.
    (Did any one else know that he gets a manicure at least once every week or two to make sure that his hands are in good shape for catching the football?)

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