Is Hines Ward announcing his retirement?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have set up a noon news conference with Hines Ward, the franchise's all-time leading receiver.

It's presumed that Ward will announce that he will retire after 13 years and 1,000 receptions. This is a fitting -- and likely emotional -- way to wrap up Ward's career.

Ward's toughness epitomized the Steelers, and he should go out as a Steeler.

This would also squash any hard feelings from Ward's release on Feb. 29. Ward, 36, wanted to keep playing for Pittsburgh and repeatedly said he would take a pay cut to remain with the team. The Steelers, however, never approached him about reducing his salary before parting ways.

"This isn't how I wanted this chapter of my career to end," Ward said in a statement after his release. "I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here 14 years ago."

If every indication is true about the upcoming news conference, Ward will finish his career the way he intended it -- as a Steeler.