Pittsburgh Steelers, James Harrison caught in contract stalemate
The Pittsburgh Steelers want to keep linebacker James Harrison with the team in 2013. Harrison wants to stay in Steel City in 2013. Despite the genuine interest from both parties, differences in financial compensation could spell a split.
According to trusted beat writer Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, negotiations to restructure Harrison’s deal and keep the veteran in Pittsburgh are at an impasse. The talks haven’t gotten anywhere, which could mean the end of Harrison’s time with the Steelers.
“They’ve been talking all day and they’ve gotten nowhere. Neither side has come to any kind of agreement on this,” Bouchette said.
Harrison is scheduled to make $6.57 million in 2013, a number that the cap-strapped Steelers simply aren’t willing to pay. Considering his age, durability issues and recent drop in production, it makes sense for the 34-year-old to take a pay cut. Harrison and his agent Bill Parise, however, aren’t on the same page.
“Can we help the Steelers by restructuring James’ contract? We’re certainly willing to do that,” Parise told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Do we need to take less money? I don’t think so. Personally, I think he’s a bargain.”
The only thing leaning in Harrison’s favor is the fact that the Steelers don’t have a sure-fire replacement if the two sides are forced to part. While expectations are high for both youngsters Jason Worilds and Chris Carter, neither has proven that they’re ready to take over as the starter.
Considering the stance that Harrison and Parise have taken, it seems unlikely that a compromise can be made. This stalemate will likely make Harrison a former Steeler in the near future.
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