There's some sort of disconnect in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization these days.
First of all this offseason we had head coach Mike Tomlin come out and say all the coaches would be returning, only for him to turn around a short time later and announce that Bruce Arians was "retiring."
We saw how legitimate that "retirement" was when Arians quickly pounced on the open offensive coordinator position with the Indianapolis Colts.
Now today we are hearing Hines Ward might not be back with the Steelers next season. According to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, the Pittsburgh Steelers are set to sever ties with the all-time leader in just about every receiving category in franchise history.
I can see both sides of the debate about whether to keep Hines Ward around even at the veteran minimum. He's slipped down to the point where he is at best a 5th wide receiver, a position usually reserved for guys who can also play special teams. The only time we've seen Ward do that recently was in his role in the upcoming Batman movie.
I don't understand how someone in the Steelers organization could let it slip to the media that the team was planning to cut Hines Ward. A player should hear about it from the team first, not the media.
Even though the NFL is a game of football, it's still a game played at the professional level. Players get cut all the time. It's not personal, it's business. However, if you let news like this slip to the media first I think you've crossed the line and made it personal.
This isn't how you should handle the possible departure of a player who has been at the very core of the teams recent run of success. This isn't how you treat a potential hall-of-famer.
If you're going to cut a guy, tell him to his face. This guy has given his heart and soul to the black and gold for his entire 14-year NFL career. At the very least, he deserves that courtesy.
I grew up hearing about how the Steelers did things the right way. Lately, it seems as though the Steelers might be losing their way a bit.