A little over two weeks ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers released long-time linebacker James Harrison in attempts to create some much-needed room for their salary cap. Now it appears that Harrison could be back in Pittsburgh very soon.
There is talk that Harrison and his agent are willing to welcome an offer from the Steelers, and the price could be cheaper than what Harrison would have received had he not been released previously.
The 10-year veteran could be interested in coming back to the Steel City simply because there aren’t many teams that are pursuing him in free agency. The AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens were interested in Harrison, but opted to sign former Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
I actually don’t see any harm in bringing back Pittsburgh’s second all-time leading sacker. Harrison’s presence will give the Steelers more depth at the linebacking position and could give the organization a chance to focus on targeting a linebacker later in the draft. This will give them time to concentrate on more important positions. Although I do believe that Pittsburgh should still draft an outside linebacker.
Harrison’s age and the injuries he’s sustained over the past two years will prevent him from being a three-down linebacker. However, Harrison would have a better chance at contributing all season long if he is rotated in with a young pass rusher.
It looks as if the Steelers may lose restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to the New England Patriots. Sanders visited the Patriots recently, and an offer for the three-year veteran could be coming in the near future.
Therefore, bringing back Harrison could give Pittsburgh the opportunity to address the weakest position on their roster and nab a wide receiver early in April’s draft.
Harrison did come on strong late in the 2012 season and could still be a force on the Steelers’ defense. Bringing back the five-time Pro Bowler shouldn’t hurt Pittsburgh in any way, as long as they still plan on bringing in some youth on the defensive side of the ball.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google