ESPN.com is reporting the the Pittsburgh Steelers have resigned Hines Ward to an contract extension.
The deal is reportedly for four years and $22 million dollars. The Steelers have apparently structured the deal to give Ward valueable cap room (read, he did not get much of a bonus.)
Ward had been scheduled to become a free agent at the end of this season. Reflecting on this possiblity, Steelers Digest Editor Bob Labriola suggested that Ward might be contemplating retirement, and he suggested that the Steelers begin preparing for that possiblity.
As OTA's began two weeks ago, Ward sounded like anything but a man who was thinking about hanging it up, or itching to see if the grass really was greener on the other side.
Instead he expressed his desire to play his entire career as a Steeler.
With a four year extension in hand, it looks like he will do that. And Steelers Nation should give thanks.
Deal Confirmed, but Not Signed
Later in the day, the Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette confirmed the story with Ward's agent, Eugene Parker. Parker confirmed that an agreement had been reached, both out of a desire on the part of Ward to finish his playing days in Pittsburgh and on the part of the Steelers, who needed cap space.
While an agreement has been reached, it has not yet been signed, and could be either four our five years in length.