The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette reported this morning that the Pittsburgh Steelers made it known over the weekend that they would not be renewing any interest in former Steeler James Harrison. This announcement comes on the heels of Harrison’s agent Bill Parise suggesting that Harrison would be open to coming back to the Steelers.
First of all, I’m not ready to say one way or another that Harrison will or won’t return and I honestly don’t think the Steelers can either until at least after the NFL Draft a month from now. Harrison and his agent both know they misplayed the market and the Steelers front office in rejecting a pay cut offered by the team.
While most believe that Jason Worilds will be given every opportunity to take over the right outside linebacker spot, that does little to alleviate fears that Worilds just isn’t up to the challenge. In three season of spot duty, Worilds has collected 10 sacks but has struggled against the run and has also dealt with numerous injuries as well.
Once things shake out in free agency and the draft, we’ll know more. For now I don’t think it’s fair at all to suggest that Harrison won’t be back with the team. Harrison feels and believes he can still play and if the Steelers find that they are need of his presence at ROLB then perhaps they can workout an agreement.
Clearly it would be something in the veteran minimum area and more than likely loaded with incentives, but I just don’t think it’s wise to close the door completely on him returning. It’s still very early in the game and there is much to be decided.
Do I think Harrison would have 10 sack season? No I do not, but I do believe he would be a stalwart against the run and could provide ‘some’ pass rush. My point is simply that both Harrison and the Steelers shouldn’t limit themselves in any capacity just yet should no one emerge as his successor.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.