Report: Steelers LB James Harrison Not Interested In Taking A Pay Cut To Stay

According to John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is willing to restructure his contract, but he is not interested in taking a pay cut.

Harrison, who is scheduled to earn a $6.57 million base salary, and count $10.035 million against the cap next season, is under contract through the 2014 season and his agent Bill Parise still considers the soon-to-be 35 year-old linebacker a bargain for the Steelers at that rate.

“Can we help the Steelers by restructuring James\’ contract? We\’re certainly willing to do that, Parise told the paper. “Do we need to take less money? I don\’t think so. Personally, I think he\’s a bargain.”

If the Steelers were to do a simple restructure and turn $5.57 million of the $6.57 million base salary that Harrison is scheduled to earn in 2013 into a signing bonus, it would only lower his cap number by $2.785 million in 2013 if another year wasn\’t added onto the contract. Doing that would also increase potential dead money in 2014 by $2.785 million more.

Terminating the contract of Harrison outright would clear $5.105 million in cap space in 2013 with no repercussions of dead money in 2014.

You can certainly see the dilemma that the Steelers are now faced with and it is one that I predicted could happen dating back to last May. They simply can\’t keep Harrison at his current base salary and a simple restructure really is not worth the savings it would create in my opinion. The cap is expected to remain flat in 2014 and throwing $2.785 million in additional dead money in that year would be foolish.

The only way that I saw Harrison potentially staying in 2013 would be if he agreed to a base salary cut of $3 million or more, but it appears that Parise and Harrison are not interested in that option.

“I don\’t think anybody would argue at the end of the season that James Harrison was the best linebacker the Steelers had,” Parise said.

While the above quote might certainly be true, betting that Harrison has another 10 sack, 16 game season in him is very risky. He has missed 8 games the last two seasons due to injuries and the Steelers just can\’t take that chance.

The Steelers need to be cap compliant in less than a month, and unless Harrison and Parise change their tune, it appears that a divorce is unavoidable right now.

  • Jollyrob68

    Let him go and move on. Thanks James for your service.

  • HarryBackside

    It’s Joey Porter all over again! I don’t blame Harrison for not wanting to take a pay cut. He knows the ride is coming to an end, and that he needs to get the money while he can. The salary floor is going to make the 2013 free agency period very interesting. With the number of teams that need to spend, Harrison can probably earn a substantial one or two year contract with a team that is looking for a veteran player to hold down the OLB position, while they groom or draft a younger player.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I’m not completely convinced yet that Harrison won’t take a pay cut to stay. What is his agent supposed to say publicly? “Yes we’d love a pay cut. We want to come back at vet minimum. Please send us the paperwork right away.”

    I think/hope there is still some type of concession that both sides can agree to. Maybe not. But let’s just see how the negotiations play out.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Well put.

  • Clint Martin

    Well said

  • Bradys_Dad

    Sylvester, Spence, Robinson, Carter ….. not one of these youngsters has the bite that James does, even at his age. Restructure, reload and retool but just be aware of who’s in line behind JH before cutting ties. It (ain’t) pretty. We need one more solid year from the pitbull of OLBs.

  • Anthony Renzelli

    hate to say it but they have to let harrison walk. It’s time to sink or swim with worilds at that OB spot and hope woodley returns to his old self. Also, where do you guys see them getting the $ to sign a RB if tough decisions like these are not made?

  • zyzak

    Steelers are between a rock and a hard place, They have no sure replacement

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Love ya Deebo!!! Looks like the ride is over.

  • Garrett Hunt

    I sure would argue he wasn’t the best linebacker they had at the end of the season. I would give Harrison second behind Lawrence Timmons for his consistency.

  • steeltown

    Without a doubt..same goes for Foote, so that would make Harrison 3rd on the Team.. but if ‘we’re talking OLB than Harrison was the best, but Worilds was right on his tail and with very limited playing time

  • steeltown

    They have to cut ties.. if he is not willing to take a straight paycut, so long. Dont get me wrong, I dont blame him for not wanting to take a paycut, but, so long James

    Worilds knows the system now and had 5sacks last season with far less snaps than Harrison or Woodley. Plus they WILL be drafting another LB and Carter and Robinson will have another year under their belts.

    8-8 is 8-8

  • Nolrog

    There really is no dilemma. Harrison and the Steelers had a great run together; the Steelers got a fantastic OLB and Harrison became a very rich man.

    But football is business, and sometimes, you need to move on. Cut him now, take the cap savings, and maybe he gets a 1 year deal from a team ready to contend (Texas perhaps.)

    I would not restructure and I wouldn’t even go the paycut route. I’d let him go and look for his replacement.

  • Ahmad

    Well he’s all but gone now. Steeler Nation will miss you Harrison! Don’t worry we’ll still cut jokes about you every time there is personal foul call.

  • bill

    Kevin Colbert said “If we don’t change a roster that produced 8-8, we’d be silly to expect a better result.” The time to reload is over it’s time to rebuild. No one is going to dictate to the Steelers how they spend their money especially a LB whose best days are behind him. I love deebo but to maintain status quo doesn’t make sense. The time for “changing of the guard” is the only tenable choice.

  • Pete

    Totally agree. The problem is that there is on replacement on the roster as Harris of the Trib said. This isn’t the same as Harrison replacing Porter. The Steelers need to work something out with Harrison because they simply need him. And they had better find someone in the draft who can play in a couple years.

  • Mike Carroll

    Cutting money at the top end of the roster is the best decision the team can make this offseason and cutting Harrison is the best place to start.

  • steeltown

    Sad to say, when talking about a player like Harrison, but you are correct. Harrison and Colon should both be released (Colon after June 1st)

  • Dan

    Sadly I agree. Averaged 12 games, 64.5 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 0 ints in the last two years. Certainly Worilds or the training camp winner can cheaply top those numbers. I wish our cap hadn’t been so FUBAR’d the last few years and this wasn’t necessary….but it is.

  • Randy Steele

    Seriously, what else do you expect his agent to say?

  • Clint Martin

    My boss came to me about a year ago and said I want you to sell more run the place but I can’t pay you more money In fact I have to ask you to take a pay cut. I was like WHAT! I didn’t take a pay cut. I would however in James case.

  • Clint Martin


  • the steelers are crazy if they extend a 35 year old line backer, extending old guys got them into this cap mess.

  • steeltown

    Harrison posted ONE more sack then the backup OLB Worilds

  • sean mcmartin

    I hope JH Stays. last year I was hoping Hines Ward would stay too.
    Noone behind JH is an upgrade. He is worth the one year risk, Even performance incentives. Timmons is good, But he is not the enforcer we need at OL..
    Unless they are rebuilding , keep him for one more year.

  • sean mcmartin

    Fat Ass woodley needs to take a pay cut, he got paid and lost the hunger to win, he was getting thrown around by tight ends..JH is the best OL Steelers have..

  • sean mcmartin

    idiots on here saying rebuild,,R U kidding me??? Big Ben is the best QB since Bradshaw.At 30 years old you have to reload and go for it. like Cheatriots do with Cindy brady.

  • sean mcmartin

    So what about Troy?? He can’t stay healthy and noone says get rid of him.

  • LucasY59

    Harrison’s contract is part of what makes the cap situation such a problem, even if they cut him he will still cost more against the cap than his replacement in dead $, I think his agent knows he will be cut so he is hoping whichever team signs him will offer a similar amount as what he would get if he stayed (can’t say he’s willing to play for less, unless there are no teams interested in signing him) I am also sad that Harrison is most likely gone, but like the stats you posted show the reason the Steelers are letting him go is just as much on the field as it is because of the cap

  • LucasY59

    the reason no one wants to get rid of Troy is because no one wants Mundy playing again next season. there is no one ready to replace Troy so they cant get rid of him. He is most likely playing out the rest of his contact and then will be gone, the Steelers will draft a Safety this year as his replacement (probably no later than the 3rd rd because of the S talent in this Draft)

  • LucasY59

    There might be a few Idiots that post on here. most have comments like yours

  • Shannon Stephenson


  • Jollyrob68

    He said that but they’re afraid to cut people this year. Just do it.