Just yesterday, there seemed to be a chance that linebacker James Harrison could re-sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now it appears that the organization is opting to pass on the 10-year veteran and look more to the future.
The Steelers released Harrison a little over two weeks ago. The 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, who has been hampered with injuries over the past two seasons, was on the radar of the Baltimore Ravens. However, the chances of Harrison joining the defending Super Bowl champions faded away when they signed free agent defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
It’s apparently clear that Pittsburgh is focused on the future of the franchise. The 34-year old Harrison could have still contributed to the Steelers’ defense, but general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin feels more comfortable filling that roster space with some youth.
With the 17th pick in the upcoming draft, Pittsburgh just might go after an outside linebacker to help add some depth to their thin linebacking corps. Furthermore, parting ways with Harrison now gives linebacker Jason Worilds the opportunity to step in and be the dominant force on the right side of the Steelers pass rush. It also shows that the organization has the utmost faith in Worilds and his ability to fill Harrison’s shoes.
Now that Harrison out of the picture in the Steel City, where will the five-time Pro Bowler land for the 2013 season? Not many teams are quick to sign an aging linebacker who has had recent struggles with injuries. The only team that I could remotely see him joining is the Cleveland Browns.
Well, wherever he goes, I’m sure that his role will be limited and his contract won’t be as big.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google