Hines Ward to retire

Hines Ward announced his retirement today at a press conference in Pittsburgh.

NFL Network carried the press conference live, as Ward wraps up what is likely a Hall of Fame career.

Ward, who was released by the Steelers earlier this off-season, said that his love for the Steelers and Steeler Nation led him to retire, because that trumped his desire to continue to play.

Ward, who fell toward the bottom of the Steelers depth chart this season, finishes his NFL career with exactly 1,000 receptions.

"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," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement released when the team released the receiver. "He has meant so much to this organization, both on and off the field, and we appreciate his efforts over the past 14 years."

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