It’s the end of an era in Pittsburgh, as the Steelers released 14-year veteran wide receiver Hines Ward. It’s clear the Steelers are going younger, building around the younger Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. Since the Bears are in need of a major upgrade to their wide receiver group, I’ve read a few articles suggesting it might make sense for the Bears to kick the tires on Ward. Here’s an excerpt from Moon Mullin’s piece on CSNChicago.com:
Now comes Hines Ward, being released by the Pittsburgh Steelers. And while CSNChicago.com generally prefers to stay away from personnel endorsements beyond reporting relevant information, Ward is worth more than a casual look, particularly as part of a coordinated plan at wide receiver.
And he could come at a deep discount:
But Ward was let go despite the option of taking a pay cut, according to a report from longtime Steelers scribe Ed Bouchette at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The math of the situation is that Ward now can be had for the price of $925,000, the minimum for a 10-year veteran (Ward has played 14 years), of which only $540,000 counts against a team’s cap.
Ward has ties to Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, so it’s a natural fit.
I know that I’ve advocated for the Bears to take a flier on Randy Moss, so why would I brush past the option of a seasoned, former Pro Bowl wide receiver to come to the Beloved? Don’t get me wrong, I think Ward is a nice player, but I don’t think he brings that much to the party for the Bears. The one guy on the Bears that we know will be coming back next season is Earl Bennett. In his present condition, I don’t think Ward offers much of an upgrade over the returning Bennett. Moss gives you some size and the potential to stretch the field.
When the situation is as desperate as the Bears’, they should leave no stone unturned, but in this case, I say take a pass.