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James Harrison announces his retirement from football

James Harrison AP

Today’s news will be full of guys getting cut who will never play in the NFL again.

For James Harrison, it didn’t take getting cut.

The longtime Steelers linebacker announced on his Facebook page that he was retiring.

I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today,” he wrote. “My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career. My love for the game isn’t strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school. I am retiring as a man who is truly grateful for all of his blessings.”

Harrison recently worked out for the Cardinals, but nothing came of it, and now he’s decided to hang it up after 11 seasons.

He finished with 66.0 sacks, with 36.5 of them coming in a three-year span with the Steelers (2008-10).

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60 Responses to “James Harrison announces his retirement from football”
  1. acmepackers says: Aug 30, 2014 11:17 AM

    He always looks so confused

  2. floratiotime says: Aug 30, 2014 11:18 AM

    One less criminal in the NFL.

  3. GBwomenrhot says: Aug 30, 2014 11:18 AM

    Good for him…good, dedicated player.

  4. delebar says: Aug 30, 2014 11:23 AM

    Nobody lead with his helmet more than him. I won’t miss him.

  5. luz56 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:27 AM

    His lack of a guaranteed deal and reality ….good player in his day, however I could have done without the cheap shots

  6. richc111 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:29 AM

    I have decided to retire after no one will let me play for them anymore. It is because of my family. not because i am not good enough. Got to admit he doesn’t sound big and bad and ready to mouth off like he use to does he.

  7. steelcurtainn says: Aug 30, 2014 11:30 AM

    True Steeler! Thanks for the memories, Silverback. He had the greatest defensive td in superbowl history. Steeler fans and fans in general will never forget.

  8. patriotsarespygaters says: Aug 30, 2014 11:34 AM

    2-3 Seasons too late steroid addict

  9. Moudabo says: Aug 30, 2014 11:34 AM

    Harrison was a ferocious player for the Steelers.
    Great story of dedication and perseverance to
    overcome the odds and rise to become the
    NFL Defensive Player of the Year , take home
    2 Super Bowl rings, and earn the disdain of Goodell.

    Good luck to him.

  10. Wineshard says: Aug 30, 2014 11:35 AM

    Always reminded me of Jimmy Walker’s dad from Good Times – one tough SOB.

    Adds to the iconic Steelers list.

    Have a good retirement dude.

  11. td30 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:37 AM

    WR’s knees and heads can rest easy knowing he’s not in the middle of the field anymore

  12. stillers213 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:39 AM

    Good luck James. One of my favorite memories of Harrison is when that goofy, chubby, Browns fan ran out on to the field and Debo slams him to the ground. Priceless. Definately worth looking up on youtube if you haven’t seen it.

  13. giahead33 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:39 AM

    Enjoy your retirement Deebo, and thank you for everything you’ve done for Steeler Nation!!!!

  14. lmfaooooo says: Aug 30, 2014 11:40 AM

    He’s bald.

  15. conormacleod says: Aug 30, 2014 11:41 AM

    Technically, he was just unemployed.

  16. theebadguy says: Aug 30, 2014 11:46 AM

    Juicebox

  17. sportsfan18 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:47 AM

    His agent wrote a nice farewell for him…

    Let’s just say that the effort put forth by James would not have turned out as nicely as what his agent put forth.

    I’d never expect James to you the correct version of “too” when using it in written form or to even know there was a difference between to and two actually.

    Now to what was said in his retirement statement.

    What if, I mean what IF someone offered him enough money to play this season? I mean enough that he deemed worthy for his all world talents?

    Would he be retiring? Uh, NO. He’d be playing.

    The tidbits about seeing his family off to school and on birthdays was because NO ONE was offering him enough money for him to choose to play.

    He is SAYING his family is too important now, but that really isn’t the truth. He’d happily play for the right amount of money this season somewhere.

    But it DID sound good didn’t it?

    It’s easy to say I’m retiring to be with my family because they’re too important when NO team wants you…

    Agents and players actually think we can’t see through all this crap.

  18. quickdraw85 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:48 AM

    Should’ve never left the Steelers in search of that pot o gold. Lebeau made him into a superstar, and he took that for granted. I was bummed to see him let go, but got a big smile when he signed for millions less with the Bungholes. Way to go Steelers for not giving in to him when he came begging and crying on their doorstep. Thanks for the memories James, but it’s over. It’s not us…… It’s you.

  19. mad55555 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:49 AM

    is it just me or did he seem like one of the RoId ragers.

  20. 700levelvet says: Aug 30, 2014 11:54 AM

    In other words… No team offered what my inflated ego thought I was worth…here’s to retirement of family guns n ammo and pit bulls

  21. clssylssy says: Aug 30, 2014 11:55 AM

    I saw this one coming and while I was hopeful that the Cards would sign him, never believed for a second that would come to fruition. He will go down with other great Steelers in NFL history, as players who embody the term “Steeler Pride”. Have a great retirement James, you have earned it and can say you retired on your own terms! Have to hand it to the Steelers in that their seems to be a loyalty in that franchise unmatched in the NFL. The NFL has lost another legend who made football great!

  22. clashpoint says: Aug 30, 2014 11:56 AM

    I loved having James Harrison on my team and I don’t care who has a problem with that. He was great for his locker room, he raised the level of play from the players around him through sheer force of will. Now, I’m not going to say he’s a fall of fame player, because he isn’t. He didn’t have enough good seasons because he started having his good seasons too late in his career.

    However: For several seasons he was the best defensive player in the game, and I mean better than anyone. Call it like it is and make no mistake about it. During that time, if you didn’t wish he was playing on your team, you didn’t want to win bad enough.

    Good luck in your after football life, James.
    Thanks for being a Steeler.

  23. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Aug 30, 2014 11:56 AM

    Yeah, you people who are saying he was a cheap shot and a head hunter are stupid. There’s never been a player who was more hunted by officiating crews than harrison. He was a master of putting the top of the FACE MASK in people’s chest. Not the crown of his helmet but the top of the mask, which is exactly what you are taught to do at your very first practice as a kid. It wasn’t until the nfl turned into a league of women that every time a defensive player even grazed an offensive player’s upper body that a flag flew. Goddell hates the steelers because Rooney really runs the league, so he tried to make an example of our entire defense, especially Harrison

  24. Waxxx4321 says: Aug 30, 2014 11:57 AM

    Yup True Steeler. A guy with no respect for football but himself thats why he he always hits somebody after he tackles them. Not a Standard anybody should follow.

  25. ripwarrior says: Aug 30, 2014 11:59 AM

    As a ravens fan I hated seeing him. He was good for at least one forced fumble against flacco a game.

  26. brokebackbrees says: Aug 30, 2014 12:03 PM

    “Not even the LB needy Cards would give me a chance, nor would any CFL team or any AFL team, so I have finally decided to call it quits” … He then ran out of his house after the Facebook post and tackled the mailman at the knees, tearing the mailman’s acl/MCL.

  27. ravensterps says: Aug 30, 2014 12:04 PM

    There is precisely a ZERO percent chance he wrote that statement.

  28. kd75 says: Aug 30, 2014 12:06 PM

    He gets to save all that money from the penalties he won’t get anymore.

    Although some charity will miss the annual $3 million.

  29. clashpoint says: Aug 30, 2014 12:09 PM

    By the way, does anyone else see at least a slight resemblance between James Harrison and Ryan Shazier? Shazier might be the only guy in the NFL with less hair on his head than Harrison. Harrison has to shave his head though, while Shazier comes au naturale. If Shazier becomes half the player and leader James Harrison was, I’ll be 100% happy with him.

  30. The Steelers are Marching and the world cowers. The three rivers were made from your tears and we build boats. We build lots of boats. We walk beside pristine trophy cases and engraved gold. They say it's lonely at the top, but we sure like the view. says: Aug 30, 2014 12:11 PM

    Legend. RIP

  31. tbih says: Aug 30, 2014 12:14 PM

    Welcome to the Cheap Shot Retired Steelers Club James.

    Sincerely,

    Club President Hines Ward

  32. bert1913 says: Aug 30, 2014 12:14 PM

    Without a chance to win a championship, James said no thanks to the cards

  33. berniemadoffsides says: Aug 30, 2014 12:15 PM

    The guy was an absolute supervillain. I loved watching him destroy people.

  34. tootitan says: Aug 30, 2014 12:17 PM

    “My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career. My love for the game isn’t strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school. I am retiring as a man who is truly grateful for all of his blessings.” He forgot to add: “I realized how much I love my family right after I got the call telling me I’m too old to play for Arizona, or any other NFL team.”

  35. tootitan says: Aug 30, 2014 12:19 PM

    handsofsteelhartofstone says:
    Aug 30, 2014 11:56 AM
    “Yeah, you people who are saying he was a cheap shot and a head hunter are stupid. There’s never been a player who was more hunted by officiating crews than harrison. He was a master of putting the top of the FACE MASK in people’s chest. Not the crown of his helmet but the top of the mask, which is exactly what you are taught to do at your very first practice as a kid. It wasn’t until the nfl turned into a league of women that every time a defensive player even grazed an offensive player’s upper body that a flag flew. Goddell hates the steelers because Rooney really runs the league, so he tried to make an example of our entire defense, especially Harrison”

    To hoshos: A little paranoid maybe? If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.

  36. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 30, 2014 12:20 PM

    The announcement is belated by about four years.

  37. zaybo84 says: Aug 30, 2014 12:25 PM

    Some of you are soft idiots. It’s a violent sport. You are supposed to knock the hell out of your opponent when you play defense.

  38. 1mommicked1 says: Aug 30, 2014 12:34 PM

    always loved his comment to the effect that he wouldn’t pee on the commissioner if he was on fire. Didn’t he recant the statement and say that yes, he would pee on the commissioner

  39. holeinone09 says: Aug 30, 2014 12:40 PM

    James, thanks for the years of great football as a Steeler. I really enjoyed watching you dominate and strike fear in opponents. You played the game old school, like it was supposed to be played. Good luck in your retirement and enjoy life.

  40. mackcarrington says: Aug 30, 2014 12:40 PM

    Wow! All of this Steeler love for Harrison when it’s documented that he is a woman beater. He’s not any different than Ray Rice.

  41. competiveone says: Aug 30, 2014 12:42 PM

    A real defender for all ages of football. Real football that is. Haters are just mud under his boots.

  42. rabidsteelerfan says: Aug 30, 2014 12:43 PM

    This guy left it all on the field. He made history with the 98 yard interception for a TD against the Cards in the bowl….not bad for an undrafted Free agent…..Be well James!

  43. rajbais says: Aug 30, 2014 12:51 PM

    I’m gonna miss him!!! We need more guys like him.
    Plus, on record, he’s the first ever player to have 100 tackles and 10 sacks within the same season.

  44. vikesfansteve says: Aug 30, 2014 12:57 PM

    Another head case who’s attitude cost him a few more years.

  45. citizenstrange says: Aug 30, 2014 1:05 PM

    James Harrison was one of my all-time favorite Steelers. He essentially made a 14 point play to single-handedly win the Super Bowl against the Cards.

    Roethlisberger and his last second 20 points of offense were a dismal failure without him.

    Just like Roethlisberger and his seven points of offense would have been a dismal failure against the Seahawks without Fast Willie Parker’s record setting 75 yard TD run and Antwaan Randle El’s beautiful 43 yard TD pass to Hines Ward.

    Those three plays — none of which he had anything to do with — are the backbone of Roethlisberger’s career.

  46. theravens1 says: Aug 30, 2014 1:20 PM

    Great Player who played football like it was meant to be played. He was BIG part of the Steeler / Ravens rivalry!!

  47. Waxxx4321 says: Aug 30, 2014 1:24 PM

    The Ravens Steelers Rivarly is nothing compared to the Redskin/Cowboy Rivalry. Sit down raven junior.

  48. fordmandalay says: Aug 30, 2014 1:35 PM

    Great player and great to watch. Thanks for the good times, James.

  49. ajgreenhof says: Aug 30, 2014 1:48 PM

    Thanks for nothing while you were in Cincy.

  50. melikefootball says: Aug 30, 2014 2:59 PM

    Harrison proved God-del was one sided on his fines.

  51. sabatimus says: Aug 30, 2014 3:09 PM

    Good. One less headhunter.

  52. jtbsteeler says: Aug 30, 2014 3:13 PM

    He tormented the Ravens and Flacco. You are welcome in my home James. Enjoy your retirement. Job well done.

  53. tk1966 says: Aug 30, 2014 5:31 PM

    Nice to see quite a few Raven’s fans step up and appreciate Harrison, and how hard he played the game. I hate the Ravens, as their fans hate the Steelers, but (with a few exceptions) respect them and their fans. They do appreciate good old fashioned, smash mouth football.

    Now, as far as some of these other clowns here….

  54. mickton says: Aug 30, 2014 8:28 PM

    Can Harrison even spell OUTWEIGHS?

  55. steel2372 says: Aug 31, 2014 8:34 AM

    Thank you James for the great years and hard nosed plays. You will always be a part of Steeler Nation. We are gonna miss you. I was hoping the Steelers would come a knocking we could use your intensity and sack master skills for the young guys to learn from

  56. Deb says: Aug 31, 2014 4:54 PM

    Great player. Great Steeler. His passion sometimes got the better of him, but you couldn’t ask for a more driven player. I miss what he brought to the team in skill, intensity, and leading by example. Wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

  57. southcarolinamike says: Sep 1, 2014 9:14 AM

    I’d love it if some day when someone retires under these circumstances, they would just say, “After weighing all of my options, which are zero, I’ve decided to retire from the NFL. It’s clear nobody wants me for what I think I am worth. Thanks to all of my fans.”

  58. kwas686998 says: Sep 2, 2014 10:07 AM

    It never ceases to amaze me how many “Steeler Haters” there are out there and how many follow every article written abouit a Steeler just for the opportunity to engage their passive aggressive insight. I’m not sure what is more sad, their lifestyle of stalking the very team they hate or the fact that we won’t see Harrison suit up one more time for the Black and Gold. Let’s be real, most of these other teams except for 2 or 3 stand in the shadow of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. And ALL of you Haters’ would have given your left and right nut to have a man like Harrison on your team. Hell, the Ravens had him before us and weren’t smart enough to figure out how to use him. He’s laughing now after being a 5 Time Pro-Bowler. How many 5 time Pro Bowlers do you have on your team?

  59. brazzz01 says: Sep 5, 2014 11:36 AM

    Once Dr Rydze left…he was never the same.

    There IS a good reason why he couldn’t stick with an NFL team until he met Dr Rydze… and

  60. The Steelers are Marching. 7 rings. SFL 2015: restoring the game we created. says: Sep 5, 2014 11:52 AM

    Legend

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