For every young, sensitive Hollywood hero who has professed, "I don't want to play football. I want to dance!" there is Hines Ward. For fourteen years, Ward has played wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, earning the MVP title for the team's Super Bowl victory in 2006. Ward is known by Dancing with the Stars fans as the champion of series' 2011 season, having won with partner Kym Johnson, and he made celeb news last year for his DUI in July. It was announced today that Ward's contract with the Steelers, which was meant to last through 2013, has been terminated, effectively releasing him from the team. However, Ward has no plans to retire from professional football.
Ward says, "This isn't how I wanted this chapter of my career to end. I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here fourteen years ago. I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season."
The wide receiver was the first professional football player to claim the victory on a season of Dancing with the Stars, and the third professional athlete after boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and wrestler Chris Jericho. The current cast of Dancing with the Stars features another wide receiver: the Green Bay Packers' Donald Driver. Find out where he ranked among the others on our Grading the Cast of DWTS list, and let us know if he's your winning pick.