PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Steelers say they will release veteran wide receiver Hines Ward.
The team posted the announcement on their website.
Steelers President Art Rooney II said they had a conversation with Ward and told him they planned to release him before next season.
Ward was drafted by the Steelers in 1998 and was once one of team’s most pivotal players.
This last season though, he didn’t see much play.
In 14 years, Ward has become the Steelers’ all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and 100-yard receiving games.
Ward is only the eighth player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions.
Hines Ward released a statement about his departure.
“This isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end. I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here 14 years ago.
“I want to thank the organization, my teammates and coaches and everyone who made my run as a Steeler the best years of my life. To Mr. Rooney, thank you for allowing me to play for one of the greatest organizations in the world.
“To my fans and in particular, Steeler Nation, thank you for your support and all the great memories. I gave my heart and soul for you every down and I will always bleed black and gold. I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season.”