Kevin Colbert Says Team Still Hasn\’t Talked To James Harrison About His Future

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked Thursday about the pending situation with linebacker James Harrison while in Indianapolis at the NFL scouting combine.

Colbert, according to report on, said that they still haven\’t had any discussions with Harrison\’s agents about his future, but thinks that will happen after they get back from the combine.

“Whether a player is part of your future or not, that\’s not going to take away from what he accomplished, said Colbert, via the report. “You\’ll never underestimate what that player did for you in the past, but this is about what you\’re going to be in 2013. If a player can help us, then we\’ll make those decisions accordingly.”

Colbert was then asked who he sees replacing Harrison if he winds up being a salary cap casualty in a few weeks and not surprisingly the Steelers GM said it would be fourth-year linebacker Jason Worilds.

“Jason Worilds did a nice job when he was called upon last year,” said Colbert. Can he continue that? We hope. … In Jason\’s case, he\’s shown he can be productive.”

Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider wrote earlier on Thursday that he is hearing Harrison will not be released.

The Steelers could still convince Harrison to take a salary cut of around $3 million in order to help the team with the salary cap situation. While not advisable, the team could restructure the contract of Harrison in order to lower his 2013 cap hit. Harrison is under contract through the 2014 season, so there wouldn\’t be much cap relief by doing that unless that added a false year or years onto his existing deal via an extension.

The Steelers must be cap compliant by March 12, so we still might have a wait a little while longer to find out the ultimate path that they take in regard to Harrison.

  • Jollyrob68

    Take a cut or get cut it’s just that simple. I’d rather they ripped the band aid off and we deal with it. The future is now….. If he takes the cut then thats fine but they didn’t give Joey P that option( to my knowledge)

  • steeltown

    That first part of his comment is very telling.

    Harrison might be gone IF he doesnt take the paycut.

    Also the last part of his comments show that he is not afraid to throw Worilds in as the starter

  • TJimmy

    I don’t know why hardly anyone saw what I saw last year.. that Worilds played well, registering 5 sacks while not getting a lot of playing time. We could see 10 sacks or more out of Worilds this year.

  • RW

    I saw it too – I’m not as worried about OLB. I thought Worilds played well above the line, as Tomlin would say. When Chris Carter wasn’t hurt, he was a fine backup. I think the team can address OLB in the 4th or 5th round this year to find some depth if they feel like A. Robinson won’t turn the corner this year as a serviceable backup. Our real priority should be ILB; for as many tackles, sacks, FF, etc. as Foote had, he also led the league in missed tackles and was poor when in on passing downs. I could see us going into the draft and grabbing an ILB early.

  • Mike Carroll

    I read Colbert’s first comment as “Thanks for everything James, but we need to go in a new direction this year”.

  • rob.pghsteelersfan

    When the team does talk to him they should be letting him know he is released. Harrison is one of many cuts that need to happen this offseason. Its time to let the young guys from previous drafts step into starting roles and see what they can do. Hopefully the team can have the good draft it needs this year. Last season, this season, and next season are transition years for pittsburgh and if not handled properly the team is gonna be in rebuilding mode.

  • westernsteel

    Me as well…..not sure why anyone wouldn’t want to see Worilds start a full season after his performance with little playing time. It’s time the Steelers use all their high defensive draft picks….put these guys on the field, they seem to waste rookie contracts on so many guys

  • steeltown

    I have to agree