The Hines Ward Situation - By Nick Signorelli

Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial

My original story for this week was "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" award winners. However, due to the extremely low response to last weeks article, only 1 vote, and what is happening with the Steelers and Hines Ward, I have decided to poop-can the GB&U thing and write something a little more serious.

Rumor has it that Ward is angry the Steelers have not made him one of the highest paid receivers in the NFL. As much heat as I am probably going to take for this, I agree with the Steelers on this one.

From what I have read, Ward is looking to make roughly $25 million over the first 3 years of the deal. Is Ward a great receiver? No question. Is he worth over $8 million a year? Don't think so. If you want to disagree, think of it this way.

I have said numerous times, if Ward were 4 inches taller, everyone would be comparing everyone else to Ward. He is the best blocking WR in the game. Plays like a linebacker when there is an interception. He always makes plays when we need them. He also plays on an NFL team that runs the ball. A LOT!

Pittsburgh is known because they play smash-mouth football. Beat you up, kick you in the teeth defense, and then ram the ball down your throat on offense. We win because we control the clock. Run on 1st, run on 2nd, then run on 3rd, and if you're close, run on 4th.

If we pay Ward more than we offered him, that money is going to have to come from another position. Which one? QB? No chance. If there is going to be a player that gets a larger contract than Ward was offered, it is going to be Ben Roethlisberger in about 4 years. Money can't come from there. RB? Jerome Bettis is making next to nothing and Duce Staley is going to be our RB for at least another 3 years, sorry. TE? Not paying them that much, Heath Miller is just a rookie. It will have to come from the offensive line, which really can't afford to lose anyone else. Marvel Smith and Alan Faneca, no way, forget it. Jeff Hartings? Maybe, we do have Chukky Okobi waiting for Hartings to retire. To take away from an offensive line that has already lost 2 of last years starters, when you're a running team, that just can't happen. But even if they do have a solution for this year, what about next? You can not afford to pay someone that kind of money to only touch the ball 20% of the snaps.

I understand what the Steelers are doing. They are trying to copy the mold of the New England Patriots, and who can blame them? 3 out of the last 4 is hard to argue with. Ward needs to realize that he isn't going to get offered much more than he has been. Hopefully, Ward will pick the chance to compete for the Super Bowl for the next 5 years over the chance to collect a few more million dollars.

It is Ward decision. Hopefully, he will choose the black and gold over the green.