Ward, 35, is the Steelers’ career leader in receptions, yards receiving (12,083) and touchdown catches (85). The team this month released Ward, who is one of eight players in NFL history with 1,000 receptions.
Ward said at a news conference that he doesn’t want to join another team even though he thinks he still has the ability and competitive drive to play. He said several other teams had expressed an interest in him since free agency started, without being specific.
“I don’t want to play in any other uniform,” Ward said today in Pittsburgh. “The black and gold runs deep in me, and I will remain a Steeler for life.”
Ward joins Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice as the only players with 1,000 receptions and multiple Super Bowl titles. He’s the third receiver in league history to accumulate 12,000 receiving yards while spending his entire career with the same team, following Marvin Harrison of the Indianapolis Colts and Steve Largent of the Seattle Seahawks.
“When I first came into this league I didn’t think I’d have such a long and productive career,” said Ward, a four-time Pro Bowl selection. “I’ve accomplished all that I’ve set out to and more. I really have nothing left to prove.”
Ward was the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Super Bowl, in which he had 123 yards receiving and a touchdown to lead the Steelers to a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He also played on the Pittsburgh team that won the 2009 Super Bowl.
Ward had 46 catches for 381 yards and two touchdowns last season. All three totals were his fewest since becoming a starter in 1999, a year after being drafted by the Steelers in the third round out of the University of Georgia.
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