Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 2/11/12

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 10: Hines Ward #86 and James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stand on the sideline during the game against the Cleveland Browns on December 10, 2009 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 13-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Hines Ward looks set to be a victim of the Pittsburgh Steelers' economy drive ahead of next season. The veteran wide receiver is judged to be too expensive to be brought back for a 15th season in black and gold, the NFL Network reported Friday, citing sources. Ward, who has one year and $4 million left on his current deal, confirmed last month he would be willing to take a drop in pay to remain in Pittsburgh. But the report said the Steelers cannot find room for the fading star as they restructure contracts and manuever below the salary cap. The 35-year-old Ward endured his worst season on the field last year, taking just 46 catches for 381 yards while sliding down the depth chart before the Steelers were dumped out of the playoffs by the Denver Broncos. The two-time Super Bowl winner, who has spent all 14 of his NFL seasons with the Steelers, confirmed last month that he would still attempt to play elsewhere if the team opts to release him.
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