[UPDATE: Per the NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, the Steelers have reached terms with James Harrison today. News hits about 12:20pm]
Current free agent James Harrison posted a very powerful message on instagram this weekend where he stated that he will either sign with the Tennessee Titans or the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harrison made his case for Tennessee by expressing his love and admiration for Dick LeBeau who “made him what he is” and for the Steelers and the Steeler Nation.
The first question that has to be asked is this; does either team actually have any intention of signing him? The Steelers’ situation at outside linebacker is one of little experience and even less depth.
But maybe the Steelers are ready to move on from the 37-year old linebacker. Is it possible they are going to put their eggs in the basket of guys like Howard Jones, Jordan Zumwalt and perhaps a rookie or two for depth?
For the Titans, they recently re-signed Derrick Morgan and brought in free agent Brian Orakpo so if ‘Silverback’ wants to go play for the Titans and Dick LeBeau will he be doing so as a back-up?
Harrison has already has a couple of Super Bowl rings so perhaps that isn’t his greatest motivation any longer and certainly wouldn’t be should he choose Tennessee where not much is expected in 2015.
If money is the issue, then I’m not sure that’s much of a motivator either. Harrison will likely be offered a veteran minimum in both places with some added incentives for reaching certain goals. Regardless, Harrison isn’t going to get rich on any contract.
So ultimately, what will Harrison’s decision say?
Should he choose to stay in Pittsburgh, it will say that he’s loyal to the team that finally gave him his shot and it will also say that he holds new defensive coordinator Keith Butler in high regard.
If Harrison chooses the Titans, it means his loyalty to LeBeau his unbreakable and unmistakable. It will also tell the Steelers something as well and it wouldn’t be real positive.