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.

44 responses to “Bengals getting closer to deal with James Harrison

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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. “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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. @stillers35:

    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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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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