Ward heading to NBC as analyst

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward will join NBC Sports as an NFL and college football analyst, the network announced Thursday.

Ward, who retired at age 36 after the Steelers released him in March, will work on the hour-long "Football Night in America" show that precedes "Sunday Night Football."

NBC said the Steelers’ all-time receiving leader will appear on the weekly NBC Sports Network show "NBC SportsTalk" with Mike Florio and Peter King to discuss the NFL, and will also be a studio analyst on college football broadcasts.

"We think Hines is a perfect match for television because he brings with him a unique combination of charisma and football experience, which he demonstrated on our Super Bowl pregame show from Indianapolis," said NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood.

"He’s an opinionated personality who can draw upon his 14 years of experience, having excelled at the highest levels of the game. Just don’t expect him to dance."

Ward, who won ABC’s "Dancing With the Stars" in 2011, capped off a 14-year career with the Steelers, winning two Super Bowls and making four Pro Bowls.

"I am really excited. It’s not every day that you get the chance to work for a powerhouse like the NBC Sports Group," Ward said. "It is a big honor for me and I am looking forward to making the most of this great opportunity."