James Harrison wants to keep playing, no reason Patriots shouldn’t want him

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When James Harrison was cut by the Steelers and cleared waivers in December, it was reasonable to think he might have hit the end of the road: At 39 years old, could he really have much left?

It turned out that he had enough left that the Patriots picked him up and not only played him, but made him a starter and a three-down player, not just a situational pass rusher. Boston Sports Journal reported that there’s a “reasonable chance” of Harrison returning to the patriots for the 2018 season, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t.

Harrison isn’t quite the same player he was a decade ago, when he was a perennial Pro Bowler. But he showed in New England that he has a lot more left in him than the Steelers seemed to think. And Harrison has said he wants to play not only this year, at age 40, but probably next year at age 41 as well.

So if Harrison wants to play, and the Patriots thought he was good enough that he was a starter after arriving late in the season, there’s no reason to think he won’t be a Patriot in 2018. New England can have a 41-year-old quarterback in Tom Brady, and a 40-year-old pass rusher in Harrison.

78 responses to “James Harrison wants to keep playing, no reason Patriots shouldn’t want him

  1. .
    Optimally, the Patriots would like to find a younger edge rusher or two because their pass rush toggles somewhere between anemic and nonexistent. However. there’s little to lose by bringing him to camp. For Harrison, it would appear that the best way to proceed is to wait until after free agency and the draft to see where he best fits.
    .

  2. Im sure they will have him in camp. And he did show value so he has a chance, but he will have competition too. In the end its all a business decision by both sides. Nothing more.

  3. In theory, this column makes sense. In reality, Brady was MVP, lit up the Eagles for 500 yards in the air, and has enough left in the tank for the Patriots to jettison Garoppolo. Harrison played on a defense that that continually broke down on third and fourth down, and was gashed by the run and the pass in the super bowl. Let’s split the baby in half. Harrison can potentially help the Patriots in 2018 but in a reduced role.

  4. Yeah, besides the fact that everyone overrates what he does on the field because he’s 39 & overlooks the fact that he is a subpar starting OLB with one last trick up his sleeve, sure. Why wouldn’t they bring him back? He was done when he left the Steelers has his back surgery in 2011. We never should have brought him back.

  5. Of course he wants to stay with the Patriots. The Steelers made it very clear he wasn’t wanted and he’s found a home in New England. Good for him. Hope he plays until 45 with Tom Brady

  6. They don’t want him ,,,,,he was just what Belechik does when he’s in that end of the year mode !

  7. Of course there is reason to think he won’t be a Patriot next year. He played out of necessity and the pass rush was a weak link.

    It’s a spot the Patriots will make an addition at this off season, plus the return of last year’s 3rd rounder Rivers.

    Adding two bodies to the rotation with Wise and Flowers could push him out.

    He gave it his all in New England and made some plays. He could come back as a 4th or 5th DE but he’s no lock. It’s an area the team has to improve on.

  8. One reason not to: He had 1 solo tackle and 1 assist in the Super Bowl. Don’t recall him, or anyone from New England, doing much to stress Nick Foles that game either.

  9. Too bad Pats and Steelers didn’t play in the playoffs. Really wanted to see that. Jags were for real though.

  10. upyoursnfu says:
    February 18, 2018 at 9:34 am
    Little to no pressure in the Super Bowl. Multiple whiffed tackles. Yeah enjoy a whole season of that.
    ______________________

    And that was with fresh legs since he only played less than 40 snaps before signing with the Pats.

  11. I doubt they bring him back. He played like a 39 yr old last yr. Unfortunately, he was the best they had at the position. The Pats had a couple of edge guys on injured reserve, including their top draft pick from last yr. They’ll probably address it in the draft this year too, and bring in a veteran FA that’s a younger upgrade over Harrison.

  12. “When one of your most crucial defenders is an NFL senior citizen from the scrap heap of a rival you routinely beat…you know the dynasty isn’t going to be intact much longer.”

    Lol you people have tossed out this same sort of drivel for years and been wrong for years.

    He is not “one of the most crucial defenders”, he was a late season fill in to a defense that had a lot of injuries. Hightower and others will be back, Bill we reload in the draft and FA and that Pats will be right back in it next year.

    I realize when you make posts like that its halfway between a prayer and halfway so after 10-15 years of making posts like that you can jump up and down and proclaim yourself a genius for being right if the Pats did have a bad season, even though you’ve been wrong year after year after year previously

  13. The Patriots need some youth on defense. Harrison was a good story for the Pats late this season and probably played well enough to at least get a veteran minimum deal with little or no guarantees. That said, what might keep him off the 2018/19 roster is the need to develop younger players (or possibly integrate a FA signing), not his age.

  14. No doubt he can still play effectively. The problem is Roster Management. In order to keep a role player (edge rusher on passing downs) or even 3rd or 4th String position, they must play Special Teams. The Pats would be smart to groom younger talent in this dual role and also not have to pay much to do this. He might go to camp, but doubt he is on the 53 in Sept. If he stays in shape, some team will come calling for an injury replacement.

  15. He’s not headhunting anymore either. He changed when people thought he couldn’t and continues to play well. What’s not to respect?

  16. Both Brady and Harrison underwhelmed in the SB. Brady got outplayed by a backup QB and had a game ending fumble. Harrison hardly had any impact when he was on the field. In a strict football sense, both players should not return next year. However, due to the most bizarre football decision probably ever of trading Garoppolo who now almost everybody agrees could have been the future of the franchise, we are stuck with Brady. Harrison is gone for sure.

  17. It would be a good fit if they can make the money work.Derek Rivers, a DE who did not play in rookie season due to injury could learn a thing or two from Harrison, who still has something in the tank

  18. tigerlilac says:
    February 18, 2018 at 8:14 am
    In theory, this column makes sense. In reality, Brady was MVP, lit up the Eagles for 500 yards in the air

    No question Brady was exceptional… in the end with the game on the line he was stripped sack. A turnover in the most crucial part of the game doesn’t make you an MVP. In “reality” he lost and last time I checked the MVP goes to the winner. It is not a participation trophy. Foles made every play he needed to… hence why he was the MVP. Please don’t belittle what he did with misconstrued judgement. As far as Brady from what I saw during the season and especially the Super Bowl there is little doubt he will play a few more years at a high level!

  19. The Pats looked old and slow in the SB

    The vaunted Eagles D gave up a Super Bowl record in yardage.

    How did they look?

  20. FoozieGrooler says:
    February 18, 2018 at 8:36 am
    The Patriots’ ‘window’ is closing fast.

    Yeah, because we don’t see this lame comment EVERY offseason!

  21. cookerduff123 says:
    February 18, 2018 at 6:47 am
    You don’t have to like the guy to be able to appreciate seeing a 39-40 year old keep playing such a physical position at a high level.

    I agree, and I don’t necessarily like him as a rival Browns fan. But he is still very good, at 39.

  22. FoozieGrooler says:
    February 18, 2018 at 8:36 am
    The Patriots’ ‘window’ is closing fast.

    ——

    You mean the one they’ve been in since Clinton was president? That one?

    It’s gotta hurt when the plan for your team’s success hinge on wishing that Brady and Belichick would finally retire. You’d think that they’d take all their trophies and go home, but they just won’t. They are still firmly planted in the way. This must be what Wilt Chamberlain felt like when Bill Russell and the Celtics were rattling off title run after title run back then.

    Big Ben will be retire before Brady based on what we’ve all seen and heard from him. There’s no way he steps up the conditioning and will to succeed the way Brady has to stay around and remain at an MVP level.

    The Grim Reaper will be tapping his scythe on the Steelers “window” sooner than you may think…

  23. Harrison played well in the Patriots system. The Steelers system required Harrison to drop into coverage, something was never a strength of his, even in his prime. Harrison can still rush the passer and despite being undersized, he has the strength to hold up in the run. Not fan of a Patriots but there isn’t any reason for them to not bring him back. It would be insurance if they can’t find a younger player in the draft. Even if they do find a younger, if Harrison beats him out, they could have the younger player fill a role on special teams. Harrison is very short term solution after all.

  24. “No question Brady was exceptional… in the end with the game on the line he was stripped sack. A turnover in the most crucial part of the game doesn’t make you an MVP”

    You realize that was on the Oline and not Brady don’t you?

  25. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    February 18, 2018 at 10:46 am
    Both Brady and Harrison underwhelmed in the SB.

    ——————
    In other words, Brady plays at such a consistently high level that 500+ yards, 3 td. And 0 int is considered underwhelming. Now thata a GOAT!

  26. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    February 18, 2018 at 10:46 am
    Both Brady and Harrison underwhelmed in the SB. Brady got outplayed by a backup QB and had a game ending fumble.

    ———-

    You need a new stick Jets fan….

  27. harrisonhits2 says:
    February 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    “No question Brady was exceptional… in the end with the game on the line he was stripped sack. A turnover in the most crucial part of the game doesn’t make you an MVP”

    You realize that was on the Oline and not Brady don’t you?

    That’s your argument as to why Brady should have been the MVP? His oline made a mistake lol

    So your saying that wasn’t his fault and he should have gotten the MVP award? Just because you throw for

  28. harrisonhits2
    Feb 18, 2018, 11:07 AM CST
    “No question Brady was exceptional… in the end with the game on the line he was stripped sack. A turnover in the most crucial part of the game doesn’t make you an MVP”

    You realize that was on the Oline and not Brady don’t you?

    It was mostly on Brady. To blame the line that played flawless pretty much the entire game is ridiculous. A QB of his caliber can feel the pocket and got the ball slapped out of his hand.

  29. I thought Pats Oline was amazing in the super bowl considering they were playing against one of the best front 7’s in the nfl. Instead of putting blame on the line or Brady why not just give credit to graham for making a play? While we’re giving credit why don’t we give credit to Foles for winning the MVP award. Did he outplay Brady? No. Did the eagles win the game and Foles have the biggest part of winning the Lombardi trophy? Yes.

  30. The sad fact that Steelers fans post about the patriots window is funny. Like Steelers couldn’t even get to the ship never mind win a playoff game. Sad

  31. steelcurtainn says:
    February 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm
    Pittsburgh will be in the superbowl next year. New england had its chance.

    ———————-
    Lol. Every year. It never gets old.

  32. Daniel Ortiz says:
    February 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    harrisonhits2 says:
    February 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    “No question Brady was exceptional… in the end with the game on the line he was stripped sack. A turnover in the most crucial part of the game doesn’t make you an MVP”

    You realize that was on the Oline and not Brady don’t you?

    That’s your argument as to why Brady should have been the MVP? His oline made a mistake lol

    So your saying that wasn’t his fault and he should have gotten the MVP award? Just because you throw for

    ————————-
    No, The reason Brady was not the MVP was because Foles deserved it more. Its a shame you Philly fans are so obsessed with Brady that you lose sight of what this guy gave to you.

  33. 1 0 Rate This
    Adam Kachur says:
    February 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    tammy brady got pummeled by those eagles. philly philly! dilly dilly!

    —————
    Did you watch the game? Brady is the one that did the pummeling. Any time a qb puts up numbers like Brady did the defense should just shut up and go hide. That defense should be lined up to thank Foles for covering up their failure for most of the game.

  34. badgersteelerfan says:
    February 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    harrisonhits2
    Feb 18, 2018, 11:07 AM CST

    It was mostly on Brady. To blame the line that played flawless pretty much the entire game is ridiculous. A QB of his caliber can feel the pocket and got the ball slapped out of his hand.

    —————-
    So you are suggesting in that situation he should have just thrown it away?

  35. Brady was ordinary in the first half, and great in the second. Foles was great all game. In no world did Brady deserve game MVP over Foles

  36. Wellman says:
    February 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm
    badgersteelerfan says:
    February 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    harrisonhits2
    Feb 18, 2018, 11:07 AM CST

    It was mostly on Brady. To blame the line that played flawless pretty much the entire game is ridiculous. A QB of his caliber can feel the pocket and got the ball slapped out of his hand.

    —————-
    So you are suggesting in that situation he should have just thrown it away?
    ==============
    Most of the time a strip sack is the fault of the blocking up front. Like Matt Ryan’s last Super Bowl. In this case Brady was not entirely blameless. I believe he had a guy open in front of him for the first down. Instead of taking the check down Brady was targeting downfield, he got greedy when the situation didn’t call for it and paid the price.

  37. steelcurtainn says:
    February 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm
    Pittsburgh will be in the superbowl next year. New england had its chance

    ——

    Whistling past the graveyard as usual.

    Things that haven’t changed in Pittsburgh:

    Delusion and always premature announcements that they are the best.
    Head coach deficiency (in part related to issue #1) that continues to be ignored
    Swiss cheese defense
    Poor organizational discipline.

    The fact that they are even considering paying Bell a king’s ransom when they have so many other needs shows that they cannot run this team shrewdly like it needs to be to win consistently.

    As a result, and, as usual…..Advantage Patriots.

  38. He’s washed up, like every other player on that defense. Even the sent-from-heaven-best-defensive-coach-anyone-inside-NE-has-ever-seen couldn’t stop a backup QB in the biggest game of his career.

  39. Braz says:
    February 18, 2018 at 4:02 pm
    Brady was ordinary in the first half, and great in the second. Foles was great all game. In no world did Brady deserve game MVP over Foles

    ———

    260 yards passing in the 1st half is ordinary? That’s like a quarter of a season for Teddy Bridgewater

  40. Wellman says:
    February 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm
    badgersteelerfan says:
    February 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    harrisonhits2
    Feb 18, 2018, 11:07 AM CST

    It was mostly on Brady. To blame the line that played flawless pretty much the entire game is ridiculous. A QB of his caliber can feel the pocket and got the ball slapped out of his hand.

    —————-
    So you are suggesting in that situation he should have just thrown it away?

    He didn’t need to throw it away, he hesitated on an open receiver. With 2 minutes you got to protect the ball. He didn’t. They lost as a result. Would they have won without him fumbling? Hey had a decent Vance but it wasn’t a guarantee.

  41. nhpats says:
    February 18, 2018 at 5:14 pm
    Braz says:
    February 18, 2018 at 4:02 pm
    Brady was ordinary in the first half, and great in the second. Foles was great all game. In no world did Brady deserve game MVP over Foles

    ———

    260 yards passing in the 1st half is ordinary? That’s like a quarter of a season for Teddy Bridgewater
    =====================
    I said it before. It really is amazing how much Pat fan has changed their tune in the last 10 years. They used to mock Peyton Manning fans for talking up his stats and now here they are doing exactly what they laughed at.

    And yes Brady was ordinary in that first half.

  42. He didn’t need to throw it away, he hesitated on an open receiver. With 2 minutes you got to protect the ball. He didn’t. They lost as a result. Would they have won without him fumbling? Hey had a decent Vance but it wasn’t a guarantee.
    ============
    Yup. Very similar I thought to Favre and how he lost the 2009 NFC Championship game with that ill advised pick to Tracy Porter. Got greedy when it was just unnecessary.

    Coincidence or not, Favre was also 40 years old and foreshadowing or not that was the last highlight of his career.

  43. Wellman says:
    February 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm
    1 0 Rate This
    Adam Kachur says:
    February 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    tammy brady got pummeled by those eagles. philly philly! dilly dilly!

    —————
    Did you watch the game? Brady is the one that did the pummeling. Any time a qb puts up numbers like Brady did the defense should just shut up and go hide. That defense should be lined up to thank Foles for covering up their failure for most of the game
    =================
    I think they’re too busy enjoying their shiny new Super Bowl rings, won of course at Brady and the Pats expense.

  44. Best comment in a long time…

    ++++++++++++++

    commentawaitingdeletion says:
    February 18, 2018 at 11:30 am
    FoozieGrooler says:
    February 18, 2018 at 8:36 am

    The Patriots’ ‘window’ is closing fast.
    ____________________________________

    Right on the Steelers fingers.

  45. I give this guy credit for playing at this level at this age. However instead of the pic above where he was pushed into Foles, you should have shown the video where Blount ran him over and he got up shaking his head and should have been sent into protocol. Or the pic of him holding his helmet not too many plays later after Ajayi ran him over. This guy has been a beast but the Eagles owned him.

  46. Brady played one of the greatest SBowls in history. Even with his #1 WR out for most of the game.They could have left the punter home. Why people respond to these abject idiots is astonishing to me. Don’t y’all get that these are the same guys, with no lives, that change their screenames and do this every day? Why they get their jollies out of this is pathetic, but the responders aren’t much better.

  47. Braz says:
    February 18, 2018 at 6:47 pm
    Wellman says:
    February 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm
    1 0 Rate This
    Adam Kachur says:
    February 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    tammy brady got pummeled by those eagles. philly philly! dilly dilly!

    —————
    Did you watch the game? Brady is the one that did the pummeling. Any time a qb puts up numbers like Brady did the defense should just shut up and go hide. That defense should be lined up to thank Foles for covering up their failure for most of the game
    =================
    I think they’re too busy enjoying their shiny new Super Bowl rings, won of course at Brady and the Pats expense.

    ———-
    Actually they don’t have their rings yet. Of course you would. Understand that if they actually won something befor now

  48. Did you watch the game? Brady is the one that did the pummeling.
    __________________________________________________________________
    I don’t think shady was the one pummeling when he got hit, fumbled the ball and practically lost the superbowl.

  49. Easy guys. We all saw the game, we all know who won and who lost. None of that, while some of it is slightly relevant, is actually the topic here. The only two questions are these: 1. Do the Pats have a need at pass rusher? 2. Does James Harrison fill that need?

    That all depends. Harrison has some use as a rotational pass rusher, obviously not as an every down player. Certainly other teams (the Seahawks, the Eagles, the Falcons, the Cardinals, and the Vikings come to mind) have really liked the rotational pass rush model over the last couple of seasons, with varying degrees of success. Obviously most teams do this to boost their pass rush in the absence of a full time superstar pass rusher (like Watt or Von Miller or Everson Griffen), but for the Pats, it’s hard to tell whether Belichick will want to go out and draft that full time guy or stick to his chess piece style plug and play. His history favors the latter approach, but the uncharacteristic spending spree last year makes me think there’s a possibility he tries to out-talent the competition instead of just out-scheming them. If last year was a fluke, and BB would prefer to use Harrison as a rotational guy on passing downs only, there’s a higher chance New England offers him. If BB opts to go younger and get a full time pass rusher who can play every down (or most of them), Harrison hasn’t got a chance.

    There is one more thing to remember here that’s important-New England was the only team to offer Harrison a contract. Now, it was late in the year so circumstances are a lot different, but it still is worth noting that teams see the market for his skills as very select.

  50. Belichick hasn’t had enough time to pound all of the Steelers’ secrets out of Harrison. Probably because Harrison is so loopy he doesn’t remember. Give Bill time. He’s a genius at counter intelligence (spying).

  51. In the SB it was Harrison who provided the most pressure to Foles. How many men can play his position at his age? The man is strong and fit.

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