Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Hines Ward‘s 14 season reign has come to an end.
The franchise’s all-time leader in just about every receiving category will be released sometime in the next two weeks said president Art Rooney II on the team’s website on Wednesday.
“We had a conversation today with Hines Ward and informed him that we plan to release him of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year,” Rooney said. “Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998, and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve.”
A four-time Pro Bowl selection and MVP of the 2006 Super Bowl, Ward will finish his Steelers career with 1,000 catches, 12,083 yards and 85 receiving touchdowns. He helped Pittsburgh to three AFC championships and a pair of Super Bowl wins.
The former “Dancing With the Stars” champion – who spent last weekend working the red carpet at the Oscars – doesn’t appear ready to put away his cleats just yet, however.
While saying “this isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end,” Ward vowed to return for a 15th season next fall.
“I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season,” Ward said in a statement.