The Pittsburgh Steelers have a trend- a trend of signing familiar players. There’s a good chance we may see James Harrison in a black and gold jersey once more.
Harrison started 10 games and recorded 30 tackles, 2 sacks and one interception. Many didn’t see Harrison as a proper fit in the Bengals’ defense and it was apparent he didn’t make a lasting impression while in Cincinnati. The Bengals released Harrison not long ago.
Now reports are flying in that the former Defensive Player of the Year may return to his old stomping ground where he captured two Super Bowl titles.
Most of the time I’m not in favor of the Steelers bringing back old players, like they do so often. However, this one makes sense if Harrison takes the veteran minimum.
Aside from Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones, the outside linebacker position doesn’t have depth. LaMarr Woodley was let go and now the Steelers will look to fill in some gaps. There’s players like Lawrence Timmons who could full in if needed but to have Harrison would help the situation even further.
Bringing in Harrison, a player immensely familiar with Dick LeBeau’s system would add a veteran to a defense trying to become younger. His leadership could be of some value. Harrison would not be a starter, he would back Worilds and Jones who are seen as the further of the Steelers’ linebacking corps.
On the flip side however, backup linebackers are usually used in special teams, and Harrison can’t play special teams. He’s too old to be a out there. The Steelers currently have Chris Carter, who’s inexperienced, but being a young linebacker gives him the advantage to provide depth while being able to play on special teams.
The Steelers could sign Harrison to a veteran minimum and if he should be a bust this season they wouldn’t lose a boat load of money. Harrison isn’t worth anything but the veteran minimum and it looks like he’s come to realize this. This could potentially be Harrison’s last season in the NFL and finishing it in Pittsburgh would probably be how he’d want to go out.
I don’t think Harrison will field any offers that would steer him away from Pittsburgh but I also think the Steelers shouldn’t make move on him until after the draft. If the Steelers cane draft a player who they think can play just as well as Harrison then there’s no point in bringing back the veteran.
I could definitely see Harrison returning to the steel city but give it some time before pulling the trigger.