Within the past week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have restructured the contracts of wide receiver Antonio Brown, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and linebacker Lawrence Timmons in an effort to get under the salary cap. By the look of things, the Steelers could be adding linebacker James Harrison to that list.
It wasn’t too long ago that Harrison mentioned he wouldn’t be willing to take a pay cut for the 2013 season. Well it seems that the 10-year veteran has had a change of heart. It’s been reported that Harrison’s agent has been talking with the Steelers’ organization about his contract in an effort to help lighten Pittsburgh’s salary cap.
The five-time Pro Bowler is currently due to make $6.57 million in 2013.
Furthermore, Harrison’s agent said that the soon-to-be 35-year-old wants to finish his career as a Steeler. I really don’t know for sure what caused the sudden turnaround, but I do have my assumptions.
My guess is that Harrison realized that Pittsburgh wasn’t going to hesitate releasing him, and that the chances of him joining another contending team were slim. His past two seasons have been marred by injuries and his slow recovery from these injuries are due to his old age.
If in fact Harrison and the Steelers do come to an agreement, it shouldn’t change the fact that Pittsburgh needs to address the linebacker position in the upcoming NFL draft. Harrison’s production has declined as of late, and it’s about time for the Steelers to bring in some young blood for the franchise’s future.
Having Harrison remain in Pittsburgh for another year or so wouldn’t hurt. The Steelers could still get a respectable amount of sacks from the veteran, and at the same time have his heir apparent learn from one of the best pass rushers from the past five years.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google