So maybe this is how it ends for Hines Ward.
On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers shipped out the following alert:
"Steelers' all-time leading wide receiver, Hines Ward, will be available to the media today, Tuesday, March 20, at noon at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex."
And perhaps the conclusion of one very unique career. Or maybe nothing more than a fond farewell to the city he's played for since 1998.
NFL Network has reached out to the Steelers and one of Ward's representatives, but neither party would confirm the nature of the press conference set to take place at the University of Pittsburgh. What we do know is that a large contingent of the Pittsburgh media is gathering for this press conference.
Connecting the dots, the Steelers have been clear about their plans to let Ward walk. The 36-year-old unrestricted free-agent has generated little-to-no (real) buzz on the open market. The phone lines have gone silent.
Ward -- with his 1,000 receptions, 12,083 yards and 86 career touchdowns -- has left nothing on the table and will go down as one of the more memorable Steelers of all-time.
If this is truly the end, we will see. He is a man not easily replaced or forgotten in the streets and darkened taverns of Pittsburgh, and nothing he says today will change that.