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I must admit, I was totally blindsided (in a good way) with the breaking news that on draft day, the Pittsburgh Steelers extended the contract of WR Hines Ward through 2012. The deal is for four years, $22 million, and should allow #86 to finish his career in the Black and Gold.

The 33-year-old Ward, who has been with the Steelers since 1998, has been to four Pro Bowl and was a part of three All-Pro teams. He's won two Super Bowl rings, including the game MVP award in SB40, and won team MVP or co-MVP honors three times. Last season, Ward remained productive, with 81 catches, 1,043 yards, and seven touchdowns.

I have to admit, I was long worried about how Ward's Steeler career would end. He's always portrayed himself as a guy who likes to play the "Me against the World" card, and I feared that someday the Steelers would tell him news he didn't want to hear and he'd end up in a different uniform. Now that it looks like we've dodged that bullet, I'm pleased to see the team take another proactive step at keeping their team together beyond 2009, with the recent extension of James Harrison and this move today.

Source: Ward signs through 2013

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