Cincinnati Bengals Making Push to Sign James Harrison

Charles LeClaire-US Presswire

The Cincinnati Bengals will try to sign former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison this week ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

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.

 

 


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