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Report: Ward wasn't offered a pay cut by Steelers

Hines Ward might be remembered as an all-time Steeler, but it appears the team didn't waver over ending its relationship with the 14-year veteran.

One day after the Steelers announced their plans to release the durable wideout, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday that Ward wasn't offered a chance to take a pay cut.

Ward had two years and $8 million remaining on his contract. The Steelers dropped him out of their starting lineup Nov. 13 in Cincinnati, and he played sparingly for the remainder of the season.

The plan to replace Ward already might be in place, as Jerricho Cotchery's agent told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he has had "productive talks" with the team regarding his client.

Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback in both of Pittsburgh's Super Bowl seasons during Ward's tenure, praised the wideout's contribution to the Steelers.

"Hines is Black and Gold," Ben Roethlisbergertold the Post-Gazette on Thursday. "I see him and wonder what it'll be like for me late in my career, things like that. It's hard. Two of my favorite players growing up, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, they're still 49ers. Hines will always be a Steeler."

Ward, 35, could conceivably try to catch on with another team, but Roethlisberger is right: Some guys will only be remembered in one uniform.

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