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James Harrison’s next move will be telling

james-harrison2 Getty Images

With the Steelers officially severing ties with linebacker James Harrison, the speed with which he lands elsewhere will say plenty about the negotiations that led to his exit from Pittsburgh.

Unwilling to do a simple restructuring that would have paid Harrison the full amount of his $6.57 million base salary in a way that would have deferred much of the cap charge, the Steelers wanted him to take less.  How much less isn’t currently known.

What could soon be known is whether Harrison’s agent shopped the Steelers’ best offer elsewhere before telling the Steelers to take their reduced offer and shove it.  Many agents in those circumstances will “gauge the market,” discreetly finding out what’s behind Door No. 2 before having to choose it blindly.

It’s tampering for other teams to answer the question.  It’s not a violation for the agent to inquire.

Of course, some players don’t care whether the reduced offer from their current teams are greater than what someone else would offer.  As a matter of principle, they won’t take less than the money to which they believe they’re entitled.

The speed with which Harrison signs a new contract will shed light on whether, before telling the Steelers to get lost, Harrison’s agent found out what else would be out there.

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23 Responses to “James Harrison’s next move will be telling”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 9, 2013 1:40 PM

    In preparation for releasing James, the Pittsburgh Steelers moved their team offices to an undisclosed location.

  2. thebigkahuna23 says: Mar 9, 2013 1:48 PM

    I know it’s not free agency yet but how is this news?

    “The agent of a player who was going to be cut made a few phone calls.”

    Tiki Barber and I are shocked.

  3. greglloydrules says: Mar 9, 2013 1:49 PM

    Thanks for all the years of high-level football James. Defensive MVP, one of the greatest plays in SB history, and people tend to forget that you also had one of the greatest games by any player in NFL history offensively and defensively…9 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 ff, 1 int and a TD in a 38-7 win vs the Ratbirds in ’07. I hope you find further success with your next team.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 9, 2013 1:50 PM

    Could be another guy for the Lions to target and overpay (e.g. Reggie Bush?). Even if his agent didn’t verify a better deal, it’s not like it would be impossible to go back to the Steelers and salvage the full offer or close to it. Not every player can do that as easily as JH due to some of those big seasons he has had and the legacy he has built there. It could be fairly easy for his agent to sucker some misguided team and that’s what they should be planning right now.

  5. ravenator says: Mar 9, 2013 1:52 PM

    Well anywhere else besides Pittsburgh and he probably gets a chance to compete for the Lombardi, so at least there’s that.

  6. raylewisisananimal52 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:01 PM

    He’s a Kent state guy and he’s gonna go to cleveland, haslem will make it happen, hell b a beast again across from sheard with Taylor in front of him!!

  7. bigbadal21 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:05 PM

    thestrategyexpert says:Mar 9, 2013 1:50 PM

    Could be another guy for the Lions to target and overpay (e.g. Reggie Bush?). Even if his agent didn’t verify a better deal, it’s not like it would be impossible to go back to the Steelers and salvage the full offer or close to it. Not every player can do that as easily as JH due to some of those big seasons he has had and the legacy he has built there. It could be fairly easy for his agent to sucker some misguided team and that’s what they should be planning right now.

    There is no way he can go back and get somewhere near the full offer from the Steelers. When they cut him they had to eat this years and next years prorated bonus. A meal I am sure they did not want to partake of. No, he slammed the door when he left and he and his agent knows this. I wish him well but he made a mistake.

  8. emmac13 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:07 PM

    If he does come to Cleveland I bet he doesn’t room with Colt McCoy.

  9. stillworker says: Mar 9, 2013 2:22 PM

    ravenator loves Deebo’s lap.

  10. Max says: Mar 9, 2013 2:23 PM

    Kinda of a big assumption this article is making no!

    Is this a breaking news site or an opinion site?

  11. nyg88 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:24 PM

    pitt needed the cap room and now harrison is probably going to get more next on this next contract anyway. just another football move.

  12. aprilwalker2013 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:27 PM

    As a Skins fan, hope this “refusing” to restructure doesn’t catch on!! Sorry steeler fans, he’s a great player!!

  13. mikemyditka says: Mar 9, 2013 2:28 PM

    Id rather be losing Harrison than Paul Kruger, Ill tell you that right now.

  14. Deb says: Mar 9, 2013 2:34 PM

    James has a history of knee-jerking, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he told the Steelers to shove their offer without having another on the table. I hope that’s the case and a reality check of the market for aging, injured linebackers will bring him back to the Steelers with hat in hand. Despite his faults, I’m a Harrison fan and would love to see him end his career in Pittsburgh if at all possible.

  15. stillers213 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:36 PM

    Would love to see him go to Cleveland……

    ….. and body slam more of their fans like he did several years ago. That’s still a You-tube fav of mine.

    Ravenator = Shermanator (from American Pie) + 150 LBS

  16. whyareyousomad says: Mar 9, 2013 2:37 PM

    Can’t believe how passive aggressive the anti-posts are. Is this really your only source of entertainment?

  17. sportsfrenzy says: Mar 9, 2013 2:37 PM

    Welcome to Arizona James , were every ex-steeler goes to die.

  18. stillers213 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:39 PM

    James, I hate to inform you, but you are about to be this decade’s Chad Brown. Good luck bro. The Steeler’s LB factory and system has always made the player look better than what they really are. How many times do we have to witness this over the years?

  19. stillers213 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:40 PM

    Quote “Can’t believe how passive aggressive the anti-posts are. Is this really your only source of entertainment?”

    It is for this 5 minutes, but I have OCD, so I’m moving on…

  20. jsg1996 says: Mar 9, 2013 2:50 PM

    Yeah, you think? Signing with another team tells you where his going.

  21. popsyoda says: Mar 9, 2013 3:00 PM

    In 2008, James Harrison became the first undrafted player to ever be named NFL defensive MVP.
    If he hadn’t been held (around his neck!) 90% of the times he rushed the QB that season, he would have easily broken the NFL single-season sack record.
    Best of luck James, I’d love to see you in Black & Gold again.

  22. drgreenstreak says: Mar 9, 2013 3:22 PM

    The psycho is done.

  23. joeytorontosucks says: Mar 9, 2013 4:39 PM

    Gonna be another Steeler LB to leave the team and do nothing.

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