Cincinnati Bengals Making Push to Sign James Harrison
The Bengals hosted Harrison and former Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby last week. Harrison should expect a 1-2 year deal from the Bengals. Cincinnati is looking to replace Manny Lawson, who signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills this offseason.
Harrison was set to make $6.57 million in 2013 before he was released by the Steelers last month after refusing to take a pay cut. He missed the first three games of the 2012 season with a knee injury but finished strong with six sacks, and helped the Steelers finish No. 1 in total defense.
Harrison tallied 617 tackles, had 29 forced fumbles and five interceptions during his nine seasons in Pittsburgh. He would bring veteran experience to the Bengals, who haven’t won a playoff game since 1991. Harrison has played in 12 playoff games and won two Super Bowls.
The Bengals use a 4-3 defense scheme and Harrison has played in a 3-4 scheme his entire career. The 2008 defensive player of the year would need to make adjustments to be successful in Cincinnati’s system. If the 34-year old can make the switch, he could help improve the Bengals defense.
The Bengals need Harrison to be a run stopper and pass rushing specialist. The Bengals defensive line set a team record 51 sacks last season. If they can add a linebacker who is a pass rushing threat, it would give the NFL’s No. 6 ranked defense a huge boost.