After spending the first ten seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and become a fixture with the organization, star outside linebacker James Harrison was a cap casualty in the 2013 offseason before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals. Harrison recorded just 31 tackles and two sacks in Cincy, as he didn’t quite fit the Bengals 4-3 scheme as hoped and wasn’t effective (he wasn’t used effectively either). There has been plenty of smoke over the past couple of days regarding the chances of Harrison reuniting with the Steelers, as the Bengals released him about a week ago.
Harrison would like to play for the Steelers again, and that much has always been clear ever since his release. But we now know that the Steelers would also like to have the veteran 3-4 OLB back, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette reports that there is mutual interest. In fact, Bouchette writes that he believes both sides will be able to come to deal even though they have been “awfully quiet”.
The Steelers unsurprisingly released current Oakland Raider LaMarr Woodley earlier this offseason, as the former star counterpart to Harrison at OLB was too expensive and far too ineffective to keep around. The team also used the transition tag on Jason Worilds to keep him around following his breakout 2013 season, and last year’s first-round pick Jarvis Jones could also be headed for a breakout. But it makes plenty of sense for the Steelers to bring back Harrison, especially since they can add him on a cheap, one-year deal.