According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is open to returning to the team that released him just before the new league year.
Harrison was reportedly in Baltimore for a scheduled visit with Baltimore Ravens on Sunday when the team reached an agreement with former Denver Broncos linebacker Elvis Dumervil. With Dumervil now in the fold, the Ravens likely have no interest in signing the Steelers former Defensive Player of the Year.
Schefter posted Monday on Twitter that Harrison\’s agent, Bill Parise, said he has not closed the door on his client returning to Pittsburgh, and that he would welcome a call from Steelers.
Now, none of this is surprising news, as Harrison has received very little interest from other teams outside of the Ravens. Peter King of Sports Illustrated even went as far as to say last Monday in his weekly column that the soon-to-be 35-year-old linebacker was “the coldest name of them all” at the annual owners meetings that took place recently in Arizona.
Harrison, who reportedly refused to take a 30 percent pay cut to his base salary in order to remain with the team, likely now wishes that he would have agreed to that offer, if indeed that report was true.
The Steelers seem to be ready to move on with former second-round draft pick Jason Worilds as their starter at right outside linebacker and Harrison might now just be a day late and a salary cap dollar short in his want to return.
The Steelers are roughly a little more than $2 million underneath the salary cap at this point and won\’t have additional cap space to work with until the beginning of June, when the release of guard Willie Colon becomes official and clears another $5.5 million in cap space.
Unless Harrison is willing to take a contract right now for near the league minimum, it is hard to envision the Steelers signing him back until well after the draft takes place next month. While Parise naturally says that his client is open to returning, we have yet to see the Steelers reciprocate. Will they at some point? It\’s hard to say.