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Steelers Free Agency 2012: Steelers Fans React To Release Of Hines Ward

The Pittsburgh Steelers will release Hines Ward, one of their cornerstone players and a member of two Super Bowl Championship teams. The team needs to make room underneath the cap to retain some of their younger players. Our Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain reacts to the decision by the team.

And we'll all think fondly of him, hoping -- praying -- one day he returns to Heinz Field to celebrate his championships; hoping -- praying -- that he knows that none of us will ever look at anyone else wearing No. 86 and think he could ever have the same kind of impact on a team that Ward did.

We do hope the throngs of fans of his next team will get to share in what Steelers fans have appreciated for the past 14 years. Aggressiveness. Leadership. Will. Fun.

Not only was he a great player, but Ward played the type of game that will endear him to fans for the rest of his life -- well, fans in Pittsburgh, anyway. The Steelers needed to make a business decision regarding his contract, but there is no doubt that he will be missed.

For more on the Steelers offseason, check out this SB Nation Pittsburgh StoryStream. For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.