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Report: Ward won't return to Steelers

Receiver ended 2011 season watching younger receivers excel. Terry McCormick

Print This February 11, 2012, 12:21 AM EST

Hines Ward might not be back in Pittsburgh after 14 seasons with the team, says Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network, citing two sources.

The Steelers have been shuffling money around with restructures and releases in recent days to try and get under the salary cap, and Ward's $4 million cap number in 2012 might be a place Pittsburgh will look to save some cash.

Ward's playing time dwindled in 2011, as he mostly watched while young receivers like Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown excelled in the Steelers offense.

Ward may still want to play football next season. But after so many years and so many moments in a career worthy of serious Hall of Fame consideration, it would seem odd to see him wearing some uniform other than the Steelers. But then again, he wouldn't be the first player bound for Canton to finish his career in a lesser role and in a different uniform.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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