SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches the action from the sidelines during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced that they plan to release long time veteran wide receiver Hines Ward, which of course has led to a flurry of speculation of where the receiver will wind up if he even plays again. This of course has led to Hines Ward being linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a receiver needy team, but that linking is just silly. First of all, when Ward was released from the Steelers the team didn't even offer Ward a pay cut to stay. They were done with him. There is also the loose connection with Mike Mularkey, who coached Ward nearly a decade ago. Turning that link into potential interest however is a stretch, to be nice.
While it's true the Jaguars desperately need help at the wide receiver position, bringing on a guy like Hines Ward does absolutely nothing for the position. The team has enough second and third tier receivers as is. Ward was never a speed guy and that lack of speed has greatly diminished even further the past couple of seasons, along with Ward's actual play on the field. There is the angle of Ward "mentoring" the Jaguars receivers as a "proven veteran, but like most things that sounds better than it really is. The Jaguars tried that route once before with Torry Holt and wound up with nothing.
In reality, the connection between Ward in the Jaguars here is the; this team is desperate for a wide receiver so we're going to find any possible way to link *insert available receiver* and the Jaguars. Ward has nothing left to offer, quite frankly, and I seriously doubt any team will be interested in bringing him in even at the veteran minimum. It should be a huge sign that the Steelers had no interest in keep Ward on the roster.
While it's true the Jaguars need a proven wide receiver on their roster, they need a receiver who can actually contribute on the field. The team already has one of the best receiver coaches in the league, according to most, in Jerry Sullivan. Well, if Sullivan is that good of a coach, let him coach the receivers. Going after Ward is the exact opposite of what the Jaguars are trying to do. Not only that, but if your Hines Ward do you want to go out as a "mentor" wide receiver on the Jacksonville Jaguars?