Reports: Steelers restructure contracts, expected to cut Ward

Posted Feb. 11, 2012 @ 5:50 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Updated Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5:50 p.m. ET

The Steelers spent the week cutting their 2012 salary-cap numbers and appear ready to part ways with veteran WR Hines Ward.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Steelers restructured the contract of CB Ike Taylor on Friday. Taylor agreed to convert $4.925 million of his base salary into a signing bonus.

Earlier in the week, LBs LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons also agreed to restructure their contracts. Brian McIntyre of Football Outsiders first reported on Tuesday that the team cleared $6.56 million of cap space by renegotiating Woodley's deal. Woodley signed a five-year extension in August and agreed to lower his base salary to $700,000, with the remaining $2.7 million being combined with his $5.5 million roster bonus and converted into an $8.2 million signing bonus.

Timmons restructured his deal to a base salary of $700,000, according to McIntyre, and the remaining $1.925 million of salary will be converted, along with a $4.5 million roster bonus, into a $6.425 million signing bonus. The move freed up $5.14 million in cap space.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also reported the contract restructurings of Woodley and Timmons.

The team also released CB Bryant McFadden and WR Arnaz Battle during the week.

On Friday, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora said that Ward will not be back with the Steelers next season. Ward, a 14-year veteran, had 46 catches for 381 yards and two touchdowns last season. It was his least-productive season since his rookie year in 1998.

Ward responded to the rumor with the following statement on his Facebook page:

"I don't normally like to respond to rumors, but as I've said all along, I want to finish my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And as I've already told the organization, I am willing to work with them to restructure my contract to make sure this happens.''

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, no one from the Steelers' organization has informed Ward that he will be released.