Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has pleaded guilty to reckless driving and failure to stay in his lane in a deal with prosecutors to have his DUI charge dropped.
Ward, 36, was popped for driving under the influence last summer in DeKalb County, Georgia after hitting a curb in his Aston Martin at 2:30 a.m. coming home from a nightclub. He failed a field sobriety test and refused a breath test.
The judge gave Ward 12 months probation, 80 hours community service and ordered him to an alcohol evaluation. He will have to complete any treatment that may be recommended after his evaluation. His final bill for his court costs and fines was $2,000.
Reports have surfaced that the Steelers have no plans of retaining Ward’s services and a decision is supposed to be made sometime in March due to a clause in his contract. He is due to make $8 million over the next two seasons. The NFL veteran had one of his worst seasons since his rookie year last season catching only 46 balls for 381 yards and two touchdowns.
Ward has said he is willing to re-structure his contract to stay with the Steelers organization, where he has played his entire 14 seasons in the league.
“I don’t normally like to respond to rumors,” Ward wrote, “but as I’ve said all along, I want to finish my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And as I’ve already told the organization, I am willing to work with them to restructure my contract to make sure this happens.”
The emergence of younger receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, along with Ward’s aging body, has the future of former Dancing with the Stars winner in serious limbo.