The Cincinnati Bengals and star pass rusher James Harrison reached an impasse a couple of days ago, and they actually broke off talks shortly after hitting a snag in negotiations. The Bengals are reportedly not in a hurry to bring Harrison to Cincinnati, but they have reportedly re-opened talks again. Famed Bengals beat writer Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote that Harrison and the Bengals are at the negotiating table again, and Reedy also writes that Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis hopes to see either Harrison or fellow star veteran LB Karlos Dansby sign with the team before the 2013 NFL Draft.
Harrison and the Bengals had some strong talks about a week ago, and it looked like a deal was close to happening. But then the snag hit, and here we are today with both sides back to talking. The Bengals are known for not liking to spend big bucks, and that’s a reputation that has been earned from Mike Brown, the George Costanza of NFL owners (if you will). Brown is being smart here, though, because that “hitch” on financial terms has led Harrison to drop his asking price and come back to the table with a more favorable deal for the Bengals. I’m sure Lewis just wants to bring in some veteran talent into Cincy.
There are worries that the 34-year-old won’t be able to transition to the 4-3 as well after spending his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an outside linebacker in their vaunted 3-4 defense molded by legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Harrison is going to fill the Bengals outside linebacker need if he signs, so that would mean moving to the 4-3 at OLB on the fly as a veteran. He has the incredible run-stopping ability to be able to do it, and it will be interesting to see if the Bengals can find some way to utilize his pass rushing ability as 4-3 OLB.
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