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Report: Steelers have talked about James Harrison return

james-harrison2 Getty Images

Linebacker James Harrison said this week that he’d like to return to the Steelers after spending the 2013 season as a member of the Bengals and such a reunion does not appear to be out of the question.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that there is “mutual attraction” between the team and player and that the Steelers have talked about bringing Harrison back to the place where he made five Pro Bowls. It’s not clear how close they might be to talking about a deal with Harrison rather than among themselves, but Bouchette says it is “quite possible” that things work out for Harrison and the Steelers.

With Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones installed at outside linebacker, the Steelers wouldn’t be looking for Harrison to fill a starting role with the team. Harrison didn’t do much as a pass rusher last season, but did well against the run and is already familiar with Pittsburgh’s defensive scheme. That’s likely appealing to the Steelers as Chris Carter is their most experienced backup at the position right now.

And, as Bouchette points out, the Steelers would be at very little financial risk if the end of camp rolls around and Harrison hasn’t shown he can handle a defensive role with the team during the season.

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26 Responses to “Report: Steelers have talked about James Harrison return”
  1. tyschwab says: Mar 19, 2014 1:57 PM

    I think this is good for both sides. Harrison clearly still wants to play and the Steelers need depth at OLB. Even with his age, he can still stuff the run better than most free agents they would sign for the same price. He knows the scheme. Steelers fans love him and he still lives in Pittsburgh. I think it’s a win-win.

  2. csilojohnson says: Mar 19, 2014 2:01 PM

    I agree. Make it happen KC.

  3. psmith7716 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:02 PM

    Come home, James. All is forgiven. Finish up your career as a Steeler.

  4. tavisteelersfan says: Mar 19, 2014 2:04 PM

    What do people think of James Harrison being coached by Joey Porter. Or, Jarvis Jones being coached by Joey Porter and mentored by James Harrison.

    Crazy mixed up world.

    Loads of talent, just, three very different cats.

  5. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 19, 2014 2:06 PM

    The Bengals should have never released DeBo purely out of concern for self-preservation.

  6. eddiek77 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:06 PM

    Listen, don’t stop there. Bring back James and bring back Santonio while youre at it.
    And sign Jones-Drew.
    Add in a good draft, and you’re all set.

  7. nativeraider says: Mar 19, 2014 2:07 PM

    Lemme guess. Steelers fan are all for this even though letting go of “old” Woodley was a great move. Hypocritical.

  8. 6ball says: Mar 19, 2014 2:10 PM

    .

    The equivalent of the Patriots bringing back Rodney Harrison.

    .

  9. rajbais says: Mar 19, 2014 2:15 PM

    Plus if the spinal stenosis gets to Jarvis jones Harrison can fill in.

  10. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 19, 2014 2:17 PM

    The Bubby Brister Era continues.

  11. joemammy says: Mar 19, 2014 2:17 PM

    Empty out the whole rest-home, while you’re at it.

  12. loyalraven says: Mar 19, 2014 2:22 PM

    The Steelers haven’t been the same since the threat of HGH testing. No wonder they’re discussing Harrison as a return…they miss having that ‘roid connection. Don’t worry Pittsburgh the Rooneys will find a way to pay him $10M+ a year. He’s over 30, he’s earned it.

    #Steroids-The-Steeler-Way

  13. runningawayfromthesun says: Mar 19, 2014 2:31 PM

    Bring the Silverback home.

  14. eddiek77 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:33 PM

    Harrison never dogged it, the way Woodley did. Have to love hearing from Ravens fans. Let’s see, you made Flacco a $20 mil-a-year QB thanks to the only three memorable games he’s ever played, and not since The Longest Yard have more criminals played on one team. Thanks for the laughs. 6-10 looks pretty promising this year for you.

  15. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 19, 2014 2:37 PM

    The steelers haven’t won anything since steelers team doctor dr. rydze was indicted for illegal distribution of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids.

    The “threat” of testing by the NFL doesn’t mean a thing since the NFL and NFLPA have to agree on the testing before it becomes worrisome. The federal authorities presence near the steelers after the investigation put the steelers players and staff on high alert. That is why the steelers performance dropped so rapidly after the indictment.

    SIDENOTE: Let’s not pretend that deer antler is what ray lewis and friends were doping with… it was OBVIOUSLY IGF… and… deer antler is the convenient IGF excuse

  16. pftbro says: Mar 19, 2014 2:39 PM

    Such a mess, my Steelers….

  17. ytsejamer1 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:42 PM

    One way or another, the Steelers need to get younger and cheaper…bringing in vets past their prime doesn’t help them much at all.

    It does seem that their recent successes have come in *cough* cycles *cough*, but their salary situation has been an absolute disaster with aging core players not worth their salaries. Their play has reflected that.

    While it’s a nice story to see him return to the Steelers, I think their best bet is to try and get younger through the draft.

  18. williamshatnerstoupee says: Mar 19, 2014 2:44 PM

    loyalraven……Asa Jackson….Cary Williams….David Reed……

  19. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: Mar 19, 2014 2:48 PM

    The knock against Woodley wasn’t his age, just that he got fat and injury prone after he got paid millions.

    Harrison’s conditioning has never been an issue.

    The difference is, while the Raiders are banking millions more on Woodley to be a reliable starter, the Steelers are considering Harrison at vet minimum to provide position depth and lockeroom leadership.

  20. steelerben says: Mar 19, 2014 2:50 PM

    The Steelers need to get younger on defense. Bringing back someone that was cut a year ago for being too old and expensive doesn’t make that happen.

    However, the fact that he could likely be signed to a vet minimum contract and then be warned at the end of camp that he won’t make the squad if there isn’t enough gas in the tank so that he could retire a Steeler is appealing in a sentimental sense.

  21. ariani1985 says: Mar 19, 2014 2:59 PM

    The old folks home is getting full!

  22. bengalguy says: Mar 19, 2014 3:05 PM

    Can he play QB?

  23. jrob23 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:13 PM

    perfect role player who can help groom younger OLB. These are the types of aging vets you want. To the tools claiming anyone is Pitt wanted him to leave last year, you are clueless. We just needed cap room and he was too expensive for what he was giving. Big difference

  24. steelcurtainn says: Mar 19, 2014 4:31 PM

    Why not let James Harrison who had” the greatest interception return for a linebacker in superbowl history” return to the steelers. His depth will be invaluable. He can also collect his 3rd ring before retiring.

  25. td40 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:37 PM

    LOL, with ideas like this, they’re turning into the Browns.

  26. Deb says: Mar 19, 2014 7:23 PM

    Can only hope this works out. Harrison would be an asset to the team, and his return would be a gift to the fans.

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