• Well, at least Hines Ward has something to do in the offseason now. The always smiling Steelers wide receiver was announced as a contestant on the next season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, which is set to begin on March 21. Ward becomes the third active NFL player to appear on the show during its 12-season run, and the ninth player overall, joining Emmitt Smith, Chad Ochocinco, Jerry Rice, Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Jason Taylor, and Lawrence Taylor.
  • Anyone who can type 140 characters or less can be a comedian nowadays, and the jokes about Ward’s DWTS participation were flowing immediately after the cast was announced last night. Others saw how much a reality show overload drained Ochocinco last offseason–possibly contributing to his poor 2010 output–and fear a similar fate for Ward in 2011. Of course, that’s assuming there’s football next fall.
  • Video evidence shows we probably don’t have to worry about Ward sticking around on DWTS for too long anyway…
  • Either Michael Vick simply failed to show up for a charity event in Philadelphia, or he called prior to the event to cancel because of a personal emergency. As is the case with every Vick muscle twitch, the former allows doubters and critics to pile up their ammunition, and the latter provides an escape hatch for Vick supporters to crawl towards. Either way, there were some very unhappy people at the Franklin Institute Monday night.
  • Turns out Jets linebacker Bart Scott didn’t do any actual wrestling after all during his taped appearance on TNA Impact that will air this Thursday.
  • Chad Henne‘s intentions were noble enough when he sought out recently hired Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell to discuss the Dolphins’ new offensive schemes and strategies. Too bad the meeting was a violation of league rules.
  • Much of the chatter surrounding Cam Newton‘s possible future NFL home has been around the Panthers and if they’ll abruptly end the Jimmy Clausen era, and Buffalo’s need for a QB with their third overall pick. But if Newton gets past the Bills, the odds of him replacing a disgruntled Carson Palmer in Cincinnati are pretty good.
  • With Pierre Thomas likely on this way out as a free agent, Clinton Portis could find himself in the Big Easy playing a supporting role behind Reggie Bush (assuming he stays), and Chris Ivory.