Times have changed: The idea of franchise favorites riding off into the sunset is over, and now we see cornerstones like Peyton Manning and Hines Ward being possible cut candidates this off-season. With Cam Newton set at quarterback we're not going to be touching the eldest Manning, but there could be a role for Hines Ward if NFL Network reports are right.
With Todd Haley now at the helm of the Pittsburgh offense it seems the team is willing to rely on their younger receivers, and by cutting Ward the team saves close to $4 million, important because the Steelers are in a mess with their salary cap. Though Ward has said he want to retire as a Steeler, and even willing to re-structure his deal it would be surprising if he actually found a way to make it through the brutal post-season cuts.
It's important to note that Ward isn't the player he was 5 years ago, he's now a 35 year old possession receiver whose ceiling is probably a 700 yard player at best, but that could be good enough to earn the #2 spot in Carolina. After the jump we'll look at the pros and cons of rolling the dice on Ward in free agency.
- A consummate pro who is still a legitimate threat when used right.
- A receiver who has experience with a QB with a similar skil-lset as Cam Newton.
- Still an elite blocking WR who would not only help the run game, but help in instructing Brandon LaFell.
- He'll be 36 when the 2012 season begins.
- Ward could be burnt out and be a 3rd or 4th WR at best.
- Using him would take away from the development of the young receivers.
What do you think Panther faithful? Would Cam Ward be a good addition to the team for the right price, or is the risk not worth the reward? I want to hear from you!