Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward is expected to announce his retirement today at a noon ET press conference in Pittsburgh, according to published reports.

Ward, 36, was cut after 12 seasons with the Steelers, the only team he has ever known, back on Feb. 29.

NBCSports.com was first to report Hines holding the press conference. All indications are that the conference was called to announce Hines's retirement.

On the Hines Ward press conference in Pittsburgh, if it's anything other than a retirement announcement it would be a major shock, tweeted @ProFootball Talk.

Sad day for the Steelers. Hines Ward is retiring today. Probably one of the toughest WR's to ever play the game, said @TannerCarder.

Jason La Canfora, a blogger for NFL.com, said on Twitter he expected the announcement to be an emotional end to an outstanding career.

Ward owns every receiving record in Steelers franchise history and was a part of two Pittsburgh teams that won the Super Bowl.

Hines Ward was the MVP of Super Bowl XL when the Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10. Ward caught a touchdown pass from Antwaan Randle El in the fourth quarter of the game to solidify the Steelers' victory.

Hines Ward you had a good run and a decent NFL career. That TD pass you caught from Randel El was pretty sick. #NotGonnaLie, said @Tmorley1992.