Report: Steelers tell James Harrison they’re not interested


Although the agent for free agent linebacker James Harrison says the door is open to a return to Pittsburgh, the Steelers apparently don’t agree.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Steelers have informed Harrison that they no longer are interested in him playing for them in 2013.

Harrison doesn’t appear to have many other good options, either. Although he was hoping for a chance in Baltimore, the Ravens apparently closed the door on Harrison after they signed Elvis Dumervil.

In an offseason when several pass rushers who are younger and healthier and come with less baggage than Harrison have had to settle for lower-than-expected offers, the market for Harrison doesn’t look great right now. The 34-year-old Harrison was once among the NFL’s most fearsome pass rushers, but he’s coming off a season in which he recorded just 6.0 sacks, his lowest total since becoming a starter in 2007.

Harrison will presumably sign with some team eventually, but when he does, he may end up wishing he had accepted the 30 percent pay cut the Steelers were offering him a few weeks ago.

110 responses to “Report: Steelers tell James Harrison they’re not interested

  1. Too bad….I would fire my agent asap. Turn down the kind of money that the Steelers were willing to pay, to go off into the great unknown. Be careful what you ask for, I guess……

  2. Either his agent didn’t do his due diligence or Harrison has a too high opinion if himself, but he won’t be making the same amount as he would have if he took the pay cut offered to him.

  3. Crazy how fast things change in the NFL. Harrison, Reed, Woodson, Freeney, Urlacher, Osi and Abraham all sat on the open market for weeks without a bite.

    How many thumbs down would predicting that have garnered a year ago?

    Anways, sorry Harrison you played with the bull and got the horns. Dont you think the Steelers knew what you were worth when they let you go? And they were being generous. Lets go Jason Worilds!

  4. Steelers are sucking wind. Their front office knows it and the knowledgeable fans know it. This team is destined for a record worse than 8-8. The best thing they can hope for is that the Browns don’t pass them by. Judging by their offseasons though, one can only assume the Steelers are in the gutter. Ravens own the North. Cheers!

  5. Cowboys should sign him for cheap when they free up their cap with the upcoming Romo deal. Also might not be a bad idea for the Dolphins to add him.

  6. If the guy knew how to tackle without using his head people teams would probably not worry so much about the threat of reinjury.

  7. Good – this guy is the biggest bonehead in the NFL!

    Ever notice that his “huge hits” stopped when he stopped spearing people?

    Anyone can hurt someone when the spear them. Much harder to do when hitting legally.

  8. Free agency is a reality check for many of these aging star veterans. They think they should get paid based on past production, but most good GMs pay for what they will likely be producing in the next upcomming year or two

  9. I wouldn’t mind my Patriots kicking the tires on the guy to see if he has anything left. We need that veteran presence. Although personally I’d rather see Abraham or Freeney (well in a perfect world Elvis, Ed, or Osi – but that ship has sailed).

  10. It is Worilds time. He has been in the league for awhile. He trained and learned from Harrison. He has to step up, it’s his contract year.

  11. How stupid does he (and his agent) feel? He could have made $5 million with Pitt as a “pay cut”. Now he’ll be lucky to make $1 million with another team, if anyone shows any interest.

  12. Jason Worilds?
    Are you kidding me?
    When the Steelers released Joey Porter, they knew they had a BETTER, more dominant player waiting in the wings named James Harrison. There is NOTHING better or more dominant about Worilds, other than he’s younger.
    The Steelers’ reported decision to kick Harrison to the curb once is disturbing news. Quite frankly, Harrison deserves better.
    I truly do not like where this organization seems to be headed…

  13. End up? he wishes right now he stayed and he could have made the difference back in performance bonuses but he knows that wouldnt work because his best days are well behind him and his performance wont garner much bonus money.

  14. Steelers continue to business their way, for better or worse.

    Silverback’s agent grossly overestimated his market value – being old and injured and all.

    James was the best Defensive player in the NFL for a couple of years, but those days are in the rear-view mirror.

  15. All he has to do is go visit Ross & Ireland in Miami. They love to throw big money at linebackers, apparently because they think these are the guys who will help them score more points.

  16. I’m not a Saints fan, but that seems like the ideal spot for him. They are changing to a 3 – 4 D and have Zero outside LB’s that can rush the passer. They are cap strapped so looking for cheap.

  17. Steelers better hope he don’t sign in the afc north just for them saying this he has a huge chip on his shoulder and that’s what make him very good is when he play with that chip.

  18. He’ll get a job; plenty of teams are still letting players hit rock bottom before extending offers. Bargain hunters will be out in full force; it’s early still. The 9ers made a lot of their free agency moves in May and June last year. He’ll just get paid way less than he originally thought he would.

  19. I caught flack for suggesting the way the Ravens handled the Boldin situation was merciful towards him.

    The point was that it was hard to imagine a 32 year old possession WR garnering the same 6 mil+ in 2013 that he was due in Baltimore if he was cut and had to navigate the open market.

    The fact that the Ravens kept his salary in tact by sending him to SF and got atleast something out of it with a 6th rounder was a win all around.

    This becomes more evident is you conisder the position Harrison finds himself in now.

  20. He may still be sitting on the scrap heap come August, and may have to wait until a good rush end goes down during the season, and he becomes a need pick up for someone.

  21. I have been hoping the Packers would kick the tires on Harrison, between Mathews and Finley missing games and the attitude Harrison would bring i think it would be a nice rotation for all three players. Now that Harrison is in the Packers price range, let hammer out a 1 year deal and see how he does.

  22. you don’t thumb your nose at the Steelers. The team has always been more important than individual players in Pittsburgh. That’s why they are winners.

    Harrisison needs to adjust his attitude.

  23. Why can’t you reply directly to people’s posts on this site? This has to be the only blog on the world wide web without those capabilities!

  24. This was business until he ran his mouth by running around saying…I’d love to play for the Ravens…I’d love to play for the Patriots…I’d love to play for the Browns (said only one person…ever!).

    The Steelers gave him an offer no team would have or will offer and he told them no. Then w/n hours he’s running around saying he’d love to play for division rivals?!? Really? Seems like a pretty big slap in the face to the Steelers organization which paid this man millions. The Steelers are right in telling him no!

  25. Good for the Steelers. These players play the I love my team and then they run for the money other places. Harrison could not make a team and the Steelers signed him and he had a great run in Pittsburgh. The players sooner or later will price themselves out of the league and this is just annother example of many. Way to go Steelers.

  26. Finally players mouths and behavior are keeping them from being signed. They get swollen heads of price large and now nfl teams are like, we can get younger for cheap with WAY less headache. Lesson learned

  27. Wait, where are all the people who think the Steelers are treating Harrison like crap ?

    The Pats cut a veteran or don’t extend an offer and they’re being cheap and classless, any other team does it and no one complains.

    Its called a double standard. Most of the posters on pft have it.

  28. We’ve seen this a lot lately. Players overvaluing themselves and/or gambling on themselves and losing. Greg Jennings turns down 10 million per year from the Packers and ends up getting less on the open market. Wes Welker had a similar situation with the Patriots. Cary Williams turned down 3 years 15 million last offseason from the Ravens and ended up signing with the Eagles for 3 years 17 million. When you look at the 2 million he made last year plus the 17 million, he’s getting over the next three years, his per year average was higher with the Ravens first offer and he’s have had a chance to hit free agency again in a better market, when he was a year younger.

  29. Bet he wishes he had all those $$ he paid in fines back. I wonder what he would do if the Steelers GM was on fire?

  30. I think going back to the Steelers would have been the best move….their defense isn’t AGING…its ancient and belongs in an OLD AGE HOME.

    Can’t wait to hear from the 6 rings dude …must have forgot to take his meds this morning. The Steelers are on a slow but steady slide to the BOTTOM of the AFC North. I think the average age of their VAUNTED defense is in the 40s.

    And the best of all…Roethlisberger is showing his age with his forever damaged shoulder and Mike Wallace is long gone….without Wallace and Heath Miller…..Sanders and Brown wont do anything in the pass offense…..coupled with NO running backs. The Steeler GM has really let this team self destruct.

    Ozzie…however is reloading and building an awesome defense….that’s YOUNG.

  31. This case is bizarre in more ways than one. As stated before, either Harrison or his agent clustered this one, big time.

    But the Steelers themselves aren’t making sense either. Previously they offered him a pretty big contract, even if it wasn’t what he wanted, whcih means they wanted him to play. Now, with no free agents signed (no cap space) and no draft yet, they don’t need him? Either you have a need or you don’t.

  32. Harrison is finished. It was obvious last season, when he was constantly pulling up, when before, he would plow through with the hit. Goodell, with all the fines, caused Harrison to lose his advantage, and he was left not knowing how to cope.

    Tomlin didn’t help matters, when he didn’t step up and talk to Harrison and tell him to play the way he knows how to play. Tomlin gave him no support as his head coach.

  33. didn’t he say something about how he’d rather drive a bus a couple years ago?

    Well there you go James.

  34. The days of teams paying for the past production of a “Name” player are gone, it seems.

    I watched it up close for years with Al Davis. It’s a great way to wreck a franchise.

    Teams are saving the big money for the future performance of players on the way up.

    It’s crazy how much sense that makes.

  35. norseyapper says:
    Mar 26, 2013 9:25 AM
    Hope he’s put away some of his money because it looks like those big paydays are gone!


    He hasn’t shown the smarts to do anything like that. I doubt he has big $$$ put away. This seems like the kinda guy that lives in “his own world” in regards to his talent, his views & his market worth.

    He’ll be completely broke in 3 years, going bankrupt & suing the NFL for head injuries! Bet on it!

  36. Jimmy boy…you’re over the hill! And when you combine no more speed with a big mouth and a penchant for 15 yd penalties for head-hunting, it’s a recipe for early retirement or a contract for the veteran minimum with no guarantees.Plus, i’m sure most gm’s can’t stand your act anymore.
    Jimmy boy…take a seat!

  37. Come play for your home team James!
    The family would LOVE going to First Energy(Browns) for your games.
    You’d be able to return the favors to the Steelers at least twice this year…maybe more when the Browns make it to the playoffs…
    I know…need to get my meds checked 😉

  38. This guy’s ego must be in the way of him getting a job. His agent can only come back with the numbers that some team offers. Time for the silverback to eat crow and get a job.

  39. Out of tens of thousands of NFL careers, very few players have All-World Moments at the most critical of times. James Harrison has one of those. I won’t forget him.
    I am a fan of another team, but I’ll never forget that interception and runback.

  40. Another sign of today’s NFL. Thanks for the memories and don’t let the door hit you where the sun doesn’t get you on the way out!

  41. All those saying Harrison is greedy and wanted more money are morons.
    Harrison was ALREADY under contract, a contract that was agreed upon by both the Steelers and Harrison.
    It was the only significant contract of Harrison’s brief, six seasons as a starter. He — as a five-time All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl difference-maker — had earned that contract. More importantly, he deserved that contract.
    The Steelers didn’t ask him to restructure; they demanded that he take a paycut. I, personally, don’t blame him one bit for walking.
    However, he, or his agent, should’ve never hinted about a possible return to the team. That was just plain dumb.

  42. For all you know it alls out there, James will not be broke soon. he knows how to handle money.
    What he needs to do is get rid of his agent , then go back and talk to the Steelers. thats where he belongs!One of the alltime great Steeler linebackers!!

  43. Like others have kinda said with Harrison mentioning playing for rivals…..”he’s made his bed, time to lie in it!”

    $4 million + wasn’t enough Harrison, now they’re moving on with out you. Anytime you wanna swap out $4 million for my $45,000 job, let me know…

  44. ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    Harrison is three years past his prime. Our wisdom knows no bounds.

  45. James, thanks for making perhaps the best defensive play in Super Bowl history which, btw, enabled us to win that game, but we don’t need you anymore.



  46. Browns should take him for 2 years, 8 million guaranteed with another 2 million in incentives for a deal potentially worth 10 million. With Browns DC Horton switching to a 3-4 hybrid sceme you can never have enough pass rushers. Harrison can still play some ball, maybe has 2 years left in tank and would provide veteren leadership to the younger guys.

  47. When the Steelers cut Harrison they had to eat his dead money hit. He got paid a lot of money when sitting out injured. Anyone who faults the Steelers for this is just a hater. They offered him more than fair money to continue his career in Pittsburgh.

  48. bobzilla1001 says:
    Mar 26, 2013 9:53 AM
    Jason Worilds?
    Are you kidding me?
    When the Steelers released Joey Porter, they knew they had a BETTER, more dominant player waiting in the wings named James Harrison. There is NOTHING better or more dominant about Worilds, other than he’s younger.
    The Steelers’ reported decision to kick Harrison to the curb once is disturbing news. Quite frankly, Harrison deserves better.
    I truly do not like where this organization seems to be headed…

    This is false.

    No one knew who James Harrison was until the 2007 season much less did he prove to be a dominant player.

    In Harrison’s first three years in the league (2004-2006), Harrison had 4 sacks.

    In Jason Worilds’ first three season’ in the league, he has 10 sacks.

  49. question for benroethlisberger7. if the steelers are so smart than why were they a. going to keep him if he took less money and b. wait until he was 3 years past his prime before releasing him

  50. Pittsburgh is taking this approach to move on. Regardless of age, Harrison is still the best pass rusher on the team, but Tomlin and his regime, have to demonstrate that their “picks” are able to produce. Worilds was a Tomlin pick, and many of his draft selections have not worked out.

  51. Classic overplaying your hand. I’m usually in the camp of the player should squeeze the team for as much money as possible, but Harrison is way on the wrong side of 30, coming off of an injury plagued season, and the Steelers have done this dance for 20 years with seemingly irreplaceable OLBs (Greg Lloyd, Kevin Greene, Chad Brown, Joey Porter, etc) that they somehow nevertheless replaced seemlessly.

    He should have taken the reasonable paycut because there aren’t too many teams going to offer a 35 year old scheme specific LB anywhere close to what he was expecting to make, let alone what the paycut salary would have been.

  52. Mar 26, 2013 9:19 AM
    I hope Baltimore can sign him for cheap. We would have CRAZY good depth.

    Ravens don’t have the cap space! They had to let more viable starters walk this offseason than any other team. Their free agent list looked like their starting roster -a few guys

  53. Thank you for outstanding services rendered. Possibly the best SB play in SB history. Better than Ben to Holmes. But James is done. The knee. The back. Joe Flacco is so happy.

  54. nasan:
    Maybe you didn’t know who Harrison was before 2007, but we non-casual fans knew exactly who he was. He took over a primetime game against the Ravens in 2006. In fact, whenever he subbed for Porter, Harrison was spectacular.
    It pays to stay sober during games.
    Six of Worilds sacks came last season. Whoooopie!!!

  55. This is the first time I’ve ever wanted to just slap the snot out of Kevin Colbert. The only other words that come to mind right now are highly censorable.

  56. Although, personally I would have liked to kept silverback for one more year, he wouldn’t have lasted longer then that anyways. The steelers just got younger at lb, now its time to see what worilds can do. James Harrison will always be remembered for the greatest defensive interception and score in superbowl history. Thanks, James!

  57. It would be so insane if Harrison sign with NY Jets, and Rex Ryan would love to put Harrison all over the 3-4, 4-3 position, confusing QBs.. Rexy knows how to get most defense players out their beast mode… JETS SHOULD SIGN HIM!!!!

  58. @ timcast12
    Very intelligent

    @ Deb
    I want to hold him still while you do it.

    James will be missed.

  59. There are two things wrong with this story:

    1. Ed Douchette is the source.
    2. The Steelers are not going to broadcast that they want JH and drive the price back up. They will wait it out like other teams are.

  60. As a die hard steelers fan all I have to say is HAHa Harrison is at the time in his career to be grateful for what ever is offered to him and not think his value is the same as it was ten years ago serves him right

  61. LOL @ Deb .. tthink the only player we have left from the 2006-2008-2009 drafts is Ziggy Hood (midas well have none) Colbert should have been smackd years ago! That boils down to bad draft picks..or bad Contract/Cap management or both!

  62. As a Steelers fan, I LOVED Harrison, but was very disappointed when he left the Steelers and refused to take a pay cut to help out with the salary cap situation. The only team that gave him a chance and turned him into “James Harrison”. He had to have known he was an aging linebacker coming off a serious, set back injury, and wanting the kind of money he wanted, no team would want to sign him for that. I would love to see him come back to Pittsburgh and retire a Steeler and go out with a ring!

  63. 2 of the 3 FA ravens signed was 30…still on the old side. The steelers had the #1 def last year and lost Harrison and lewis(mundy doesn’t matter)Worlids will replace Harrison just fine so we won’t miss him. Next year I can see at least 2 out of Clark, Foote, Hampton, Kiesle, and Polamolu to be released. They need to hit on a RB, TE, WR, and replacements for who they plan on releasing next year with the next 2 drafts. I think they will have a 8-10 win season but wouldn’t mind seeing a worse outcome for better picks

  64. @blackngold4life … Cowher4GM … now there’s a thought 🙂

    Those saying James missed his chance need to remember players have fragile egos; it’s difficult for them to gauge their own decline. You expect teams to act less emotionally than they do. It was only a matter of time before James saw the reality of the market and returned to the table, and it’s foolish and petty for the Steelers to slam the door in his face. James brings more to the mix than his pass rush–which is significant when he’s healthy. He also brings locker room stability and work ethic that’s desperately needed right now. I hope stillers213 is right and this is just a negotiating tactic.

    Hey, dickroy 😉

  65. I agree Deb We can absolutely use James next year. I hope in the end he is back in Pittsburgh

  66. bobzilla1001 says:
    Mar 26, 2013 2:24 PM
    Maybe you didn’t know who Harrison was before 2007, but we non-casual fans knew exactly who he was. He took over a primetime game against the Ravens in 2006. In fact, whenever he subbed for Porter, Harrison was spectacular.
    It pays to stay sober during games.
    Six of Worilds sacks came last season. Whoooopie!!!

    3 0 A couple of things for the pompous ass called bobzilla

    1. You said my parents called wanting their basement back. Moron both of my parents have passed away.
    2. I see you are licking your wounds at being called out as the sexist that you are. Not going after Deb are you…
    3″ you called me an embarrassment to the fan base….better check out your thumbs down….you are a closet ravens fan.
    4. Your negativity is a reflection of your unhappiness with your life, but we don’t need to suffer you are suffering enough.

  67. randallflagg52 says:
    Mar 26, 2013 6:37 PM
    steelers are falling fast, hey there’s always the Pirates right?

    0 1 The steelers may be falling but not at the rate your IQ is…just remember you wake up daily in Baltimore and you have our sympathy.

  68. Harrison is in a strange situation..his age dosent. match up with his playing years..6-7 years as a starter only. Health wise he was good towards the end of the year. But you got Worilds (He’s no James Harrison) yet but he could be so what do you do if you’re the Steelers? Especially with limited Cap space.

  69. James was the best defensive player in the NFL for a couple of years, but age an injuries have caught up to him.

    Steelers made James a fair offer…he declined. The door is now shut in Pittsburgh.

    Another case of an agent (idiot lawyer) doing a disservice to his client by unrealistically pumping-up his value.

    Smart teams pay big money to ascending, not descending players.

  70. drooling fool:
    Just because your parents moved without giving you a forwarding address, that doesn’t mean they actually died. Sorry to be the one to break the news.
    Do you know anything about football? If you do, you sure are keeping it a secret.

  71. bobzilla1001 says:
    Mar 27, 2013 2:58 PM
    drooling fool:
    Just because your parents moved without giving you a forwarding address, that doesn’t mean they actually died. Sorry to be the one to break the news.
    Do you know anything about football? If you do, you sure are keeping it a secret.

    4 0
    Thanks for the intelligent sensitive reply its exactly what I expected from a card carrying sexist. How much are you paying steeler bimbo to have your back? The only thing I know about football is what I learned from you so no not much.

  72. steelerbabe says:
    Mar 27, 2013 2:01 PM
    omg drool, this is not a insult board, stick to football

    5 1 Omg babe you are butting in where you don’t belong like when the resident thread sexist was bashing Deb. you never comment on football related concerns you just like defending your sexist friend so you hardly qualify as creditable judge of anyone’s posts.

  73. Excuse me, I usually do not like to involve myself in the poo-slinging, but I could not remain silent when Fool is calling Bob a “card carrying” sexist and then in the next sentence he refers to steelerbabe as a bimbo. Brilliant!

    Anyway, James lost his edge when he became Goodell’s whipping boy. He was never the same after that. I watched him help a ton of opposing players up off the turf last season. That’s just something you never used to see out of him and it was what made him special. The Mr. nice guy routine just doesn’t work for Harrison.

  74. Say what you want about Harrison, as a die-hard Steelers fan I will always have great memories of him. Especially the interception he made in the Steelers’ end zone and took it back for a TD in Super Bowl XIV against Arizona Cardinals. Wow, it was so electrifying watching him run down the sideline and scoring the TD.

    I sure will miss him. Good luck James.

  75. To Drool: I may not know a lot about football but i’m here to learn more about it .
    However l do recognize someone who’s disrespectful to women , calling me a bimbo i’d really like to know from the few posts l’ve made on here how you came to that conclusion.
    For the record, l may not excel when it comes to football, but at least i’m trying to learn . There are many topics l do excel at.
    All you seem to be good at is hurling judgemental comments and kissing Debs ass.
    I have no more to say on this topic, but if you insult someone again l will speak up and say something.

  76. Harrison maybe 34-35 but he was only on the field 6 years and lookd good [ healthy] Towards the end of the season. On the other hand they just can’t keep Worilds Heyward or McLendon on the sidelines any longer..its time for them and Hood to s#%& or get of the toilet! Would I like to have DEEBO back? maybe in a reduced role..Yes and that’s where the $ comes into play.Steelers probably had the same thing in mind. Reduced snaps= Reduced pay

  77. steelerbabe, if you’re still reading, please give it a rest. I’ve been here for years, posting intelligent comments on a sport I do understand. And I’ve had a lot of experience dodging comments from jerks like bobzilla and the guy who told us both to go make him a sandwich. You claim you’re here to learn, but the first thing you did was rip up another female for no reason whatsoever. If you want to learn, then please be quiet and observe. Stop ripping on other commenters when you have no idea what you’re talking about. No wonder he thinks you’re an empty-headed 12-year-old. Your posts speak for themselves. And I’d appreciate it if you would stop trying to make an impression by posting about me.

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