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Bengals getting closer to deal with James Harrison

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James Harrison’s unemployment may be coming to an end.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Bengals will try to complete a deal this week with Harrison, the 34-year-old outside linebacker who has spent his entire career with the Steelers.

Harrison met with the Bengals last week, and Cincinnati appears to be the team that has the most interest in him. Harrison hasn’t generated a lot of attention in free agency since turning down a pay cut with the Steelers and getting cut as a result.

The Bengals have been trying to add a veteran linebacker and were also interested in Karlos Dansby, but according to Schefter, Harrison looks like he’s going to be easier (which presumably means cheaper) to sign. Harrison is coming off a 2012 season in which he had 6.0 sacks, his fewest since becoming a starter in 2007.

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44 Responses to “Bengals getting closer to deal with James Harrison”
  1. jarvis1104 says: Apr 14, 2013 9:10 AM

    Why would anyone want Harrison playing in a 4-3 defense?

  2. jacobknicks says: Apr 14, 2013 9:11 AM

    They’re just trying to stick it to Pittsburgh

  3. bettis3636 says: Apr 14, 2013 9:11 AM

    I feel bad for Big Ben… James is gonna try to crush him. “Sorry Ben no hard feelings… just business!” lol

  4. natijim235 says: Apr 14, 2013 9:14 AM

    good get it done bengals

  5. vottorific says: Apr 14, 2013 9:15 AM

    By the way, the Bengals have plenty of cap to spend. Mike Brown is smarter than y’all think.

  6. steel2372 says: Apr 14, 2013 9:31 AM

    This is inexcusable. Steelers shouldn’t have let him go to a division rival. James is a beast. The man came back and said He was still interested in being a Steeler again. Not sure why Colbert didn’t even talk to him.

  7. ytownjoe says: Apr 14, 2013 9:43 AM

    The Steelers will regret letting him go. Especially when they face him twice a year.

  8. davekezer says: Apr 14, 2013 9:53 AM

    The first time Harrison levels Roethlisberger, I’m going to pop some bubbly.

  9. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 14, 2013 9:56 AM

    i thought the Bengals run a 4-3d and doesnt harrison fit better as a OLB in a 3-4D? wouldnt dansby be a better fit there?

  10. pabrownsfan says: Apr 14, 2013 10:04 AM

    great move if they can get the deal done

  11. reed20fence says: Apr 14, 2013 10:06 AM

    Well you know how the saying goes…”when you’ve consistently beat them, join them.”

  12. ravenator says: Apr 14, 2013 10:13 AM

    Anther blunder by the Pittsburgh front office.

  13. pftaddict says: Apr 14, 2013 10:16 AM

    Once fall comes and Harrison has a down year, the Steelers will once again prove that they are smarter than everyone who says that cutting Harrison was a mistake.

  14. bengalsstillsuck says: Apr 14, 2013 10:23 AM

    I hate the Bengals but the past decade they done it right they build through the draft an always have cap room this would be a good depth signing i better get use to it the Bengals will be around for a couple years.

  15. t8ertot says: Apr 14, 2013 10:25 AM

    Not only did the Bengals end the steelers season last year, they sign one of their best players..ha! Gotta love it

  16. albionhero says: Apr 14, 2013 10:31 AM

    “Harrison, the 34-year-old outside linebacker who has spent his entire career with the Steelers.”

    This is actually not true. He was first with the Steelers, then cut and picked up by the Ravens, and then cut by the Ravens and signed with the Steelers for good.

  17. cynicalbengalsfan says: Apr 14, 2013 10:37 AM

    I can hardly wait for all the roughing the passer and unnecessary roughness calls.

  18. bengalsmofo says: Apr 14, 2013 10:51 AM

    Over half the snaps last year for the Bengals were in a nickel-d. This would bode for Harrison to get significant playing time if the trend continues this year.

  19. nickster31 says: Apr 14, 2013 11:15 AM

    Good luck James. Get the money you can before retirement.

    Bengals fan, don’t get too excited. Harrison is going to join the long list of old players the Steelers released and had no future in the NFL.

  20. scoobies05 says: Apr 14, 2013 11:39 AM

    as a matter of pride james harrison will take a lesser deal with anyone but pittsburgh. baltimore sort of went through the same thing with ed reed. both players put up outstanding careers in pitt and baltimore respectively and figured their home teams would pay them. but they reality is they are getting older and their values arent as high. i will miss ed in baltimore and i believe he found a great situation in houston. and i think harrison is dying to sign with an afcn team just to torment the steelers twice a year.

  21. realskipbayless says: Apr 14, 2013 11:48 AM

    Get the deal done now.

  22. bengalsguy55 says: Apr 14, 2013 11:51 AM

    In the beginning of the 2012 season the bengals ran
    Both a 4-3 and a 3-4 with the bengals signing maybin and possibly Harrison they will now truly be able to run the 3-4

  23. hicksc14 says: Apr 14, 2013 12:04 PM

    Why would they want Harrison? Hes a 3-4 LB. He would be put in the Will spot but theyre suppose to cover TEs and Rbs. Harrison is slow… If anything, they should try to get Freeney. At least he’s a 4-3 LB

  24. cannonballdookie says: Apr 14, 2013 12:04 PM

    Harrison is worth no more than 2M. He’s been breaking down physically the past few years despite how well he takes care of himself. Always gives full effort but just isn’t that explosive anymore. I don’t blame Cinci for having interest but I don’t see how he’d fit? He’d be good as a 3-4 edge rusher in a rotation.

    The real concern is why no one has signed Dansby yet? He’s consistently very good and brings instant leadership. I really wish the Steelers would have held off on Foote and signed him instead.

  25. dickson29 says: Apr 14, 2013 12:44 PM

    He will be good for a year, then he is done. Still made a bad decision with the steeler contract. He is regretting it.

  26. sipe17 says: Apr 14, 2013 2:18 PM

    harrison’s a 34- olb…wheres he gonna play in the bengals 43 “d”..he’s 35 and dosen’t play well in space——

  27. melkipershero says: Apr 14, 2013 2:32 PM

    Freeney is not a 4-3 (or 3-4 for that matter) lb.

    Harrison could be Von Millerish. Obviously hes not in Vons class anymore, but he can make plays.

  28. tripleb4444 says: Apr 14, 2013 2:41 PM

    Bengals fans are so cute. give them an inch of relevance and they take a mile. your still 3rd best in the division behind the ravens and steelers.

  29. nattination says: Apr 14, 2013 3:03 PM

    One year deal. He teaches the young backers (tez, rey, lamur, future draft picks) to play and be aggressive. He gets a chance to show he can still play. Plus he is going to be a situational player. Like most of the guys in Zimmer’s D.
    They have the DE’s (johnson, dunlap) and DT’s (peko, atkins) to play a situational 3-4.
    Worst case….you get a little extra motivation two games this year. It’s not like they don’t have the money to spend.

  30. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 14, 2013 3:58 PM

    Most of you fools are clueless. JH was a great linebacker. WAS. He was completely ineffective last year, and a couple seasons past his prime.

    Obviously if the Steelers don’t want him, they could care less if he plays for a division rival. He doesn’t scare anyone.

  31. mwindle1973 says: Apr 14, 2013 4:14 PM

    The question arose in the comments as to why anyone would want him in a 4-3. First let’s say that one is assuming they will continue to run a 4-3. Zimmer has ran both in his career. And the Bengals are a multiple front team, they already give 3-4 looks under Zimmer. Also Marvin Lewis ran a 4-3 in Baltimore, that gave 3-4 looks by standing up Peter Boulware at times. Michael Johnson has the ability and has been a stand up LB in the past. Then let’s examine what the SAM LB does in the Bengals current scheme. On 1st and 2nd down he is required to take on the TE or lead blocker and be able to quickly release. Which Harrison is great at. On 3rd down the SAM comes out and they play a 4-2-5. This is where Harrison comes in too. Now they will have the flexibility to play a 3-3-5 as Harrison is both very good at dropping into a zone, or rushing the passer. I’m sure he would be a dream come true for Mike Zimmer, who has been pounding the table for both a LB and S with the ability to blitz and get there. And also the Bengals have not had a true SAM to defend the run with since they move Maualuga from SAM to MLB. Plus the leadership, and no nonsense attitude are not going to hurt anything either. Especially at the price they can get him for. He’s definitely a huge upgrade over Manny Lawson.

  32. stillers35 says: Apr 14, 2013 4:26 PM

    Just so we’re clear. When Harrison was a Steeler he was old and slow but now that he’s a Bengal he’s back in his prime? Considering Pittsburgh has about an .800 winning percentage vs Cincy over the last 10 yrs I’m sure we’ll find a way to overcome losing a 34 yr old linebacker and still compete with the Bungals

  33. truths4all says: Apr 14, 2013 4:42 PM

    Harrison can handle being in a 4-3 or a 3-4. With Burfict clogging up the middle, Harrison will be free to tear into the backfield to give the Bengals more sacks than before.

  34. junglegrowler says: Apr 14, 2013 4:53 PM

    He’ll be part of a rotation, they’re gonna draft a linebacker…..maybe 8)

  35. floriohatesthebengals says: Apr 14, 2013 5:22 PM

    haters are going to hate. that’s fine because he doesn’t have to be a starter. he will be a great mentor for young lbs. don’t comment if you don’t know what your talking about

  36. nocitpeced says: Apr 14, 2013 6:08 PM

    tripleb4444 says:
    Apr 14, 2013 2:41 PM
    Bengals fans are so cute. give them an inch of relevance and they take a mile. your still 3rd best in the division behind the ravens and steelers.

    Which AFC North teams have made the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years or more? Cincinnati? Check. Baltimore? Check. Pittsburgh? Not so fast… Looks like someone is having a hard time accepting the reality in front of them.

  37. rodsbengals says: Apr 14, 2013 7:12 PM

    Come on steelers fan you couldn’t compete with the bengals last year and Ben is getting beat up each year he’s not for long now. Get ready to learn how to be a real fan! The bengals will not have to deal with the steelers or the ravens! You can only spend so much money for so long, your players have been taking cut for a while now it’s over. He was a great player with your team and will be a difference maker on any team. Well be a good team if our offense does well, but our de will be ok, good luck keeping up lol

  38. bgm9876 says: Apr 14, 2013 7:48 PM

    common bills make an offer to him. bills r lozerz.

  39. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Apr 14, 2013 7:54 PM


    The Steelers are actually 14-6 against the Bengals over the past decade. So that’s actually a .700 win%, and most of those wins occurred when the Steelers were much better than they are right now. Remember, the Bengals knocked the Steelers out on their home field last year. That will probably be the norm for awhile.

    Side note: why are posts randomly deleted? I didn’t say anything vulgar.

  40. bgm9876 says: Apr 14, 2013 8:19 PM

    yah thats weird mine got deleted to and i didnt say anything wrong or stupid.

  41. shoesfinest says: Apr 14, 2013 11:15 PM

    Just so we are clear…James Harrison is coming to an already top 5 defense that is returning majority of its starters and will be drafting a top safety in the draft….So he will not be expected to be on the field for 70 percent of the snaps. His leadership and take no prisoners will bring the killer instinct this team has lacked and show them how to finish. Offense will add a few pieces via the 10 picks in the draft and another year of maturity for Dalton will lead this team back to the playoffs and home again for the Steelers.

  42. swagger52 says: Apr 15, 2013 12:49 AM

    Marvin Lewis..Here is 50 cents, go helmet Big Ben in the Crotch.

    James H..I ain’t gonna change my game. I’m gonna helmet to helmet.

    Marvin..But you will be fined.

    James H…I ain’t play’n fo da money.

  43. mrp2003 says: Apr 16, 2013 7:35 AM

    Where ever JH lands, he was a great Steeler. Loved the way he played. Hope he has a poor game when he plays against the Steelers. Wish him all the luck and hope he makes as much money as he possible can.

  44. joshh967 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:55 PM

    It’s not unheard of for a 3-4 lineback to switch to a 4-3. If it was the other way around however, then we should be worried.

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