Hines Ward caught more passes for more yards and more touchdowns than anyone in Steelers history and he introduced the devastating wide receiver block -- almost always delivered with a smile on his face -- to the modern NFL. Wednesday, the Steelers delivered the toughest body-blow to Ward's 14-year career when they announced their plans to release him, without ever asking him to take a pay cut. Ward saw this possibility coming after the coaches demoted him from his 13-year run as a starter on Nov. 13 in Cincinnati, then used him sparingly over the final seven games. They did frantically and successfully manage to help him become only the eighth player in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes, targeting him enough times in the final two games for him to hit that number on the nose with five receptions in the finale at Cleveland.
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