Report: Steelers Continuing Talks With Agent Of James Harrison

With the start of 2013 league year now one week away, the Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing to try to trim additional salary cap dollars however they can.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on Tuesday that Bill Parise, the agent for linebacker James Harrison, is continuing his talks with Steelers concerning his clients\’ future.

Parise reportedly met with the Steelers during the NFL combine and indicated that future talks were likely.

Parise had indicated earlier in the offseason that they were not interested in Harrison taking a paycut, but that they were open to restructuring his contract. Harrison, who is currently under contract through the 2014 season, is scheduled to earn a base salary of $6.57 million in 2013. The Steelers would obviously like to get that number down by at least $3 million, or more, if possible.

Should the Steelers wind up not convincing Harrison to take a paycut, they would either have to restructure his contract, which could include adding another false year onto the length, or they could terminate it. That last option would clear $5.105 million worth of cap space without factoring in roster displacement.

Harrison will be 35 years old in a few months, and as I pointed out in a previous post, that is historically not an age that defensive players have shown to be very productive.

  • steeltown


  • reg38

    Wow…51.05 million? That can buy a few free agents!! #sarcasm

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I still think James has some choices:

    1. Take a pure pay cut.

    2. Take a smaller pay cut with an extension without any guaranteed money in that 3rd year, effectively doing an extension with the money spread out over an additional year.

    3. Play somewhere else.

    That is about it. They aren’t going to keep him at his current cap hit, and that comes from someone who believes he should be brought back if at all possible.

  • Chris92021

    I don’t know if Harrison would be open for a pay cut but then again, he will be 35, has a recent history of back injury, and only showed flashes of his former self last year. However, given the alternatives aren’t that great (draft a kid like Damontre Moore, rely on Jason Worilds or Chris Carter), Harrison has some leverage but not much. I would like to see him back on a 2 year deal with incentives laden.

  • Danny Delouize

    Their D played so much better last year when Harrison got into shape…Agree 35 is old for a defender but Harrison hardly played until he was 27 years old..

  • Danny Delouize

    Why don’t the Steelers work on cutting Woodleys pay…

  • Danny Delouize

    Worilds improved a little last year…OLB’s in the past have run around on special teams for 3 years before they start…Worilds has had his 3 years,

  • Keep him. Draft a OLB and move him to middle. Everyone is happy

  • Kevin Gobleck

    We are under cap, need veteran help to teach the OLB we will most likely draft this year , and again Harrison was tied for sack leader on our team even though he was injured. I think he should stay.( granted i still would think he should take a pay cut)

  • walter mason


  • walter mason

    Harrison is currently under contract so they cannot offer him a 2 year deal..

  • rob.pghsteelersfan

    Cut him. Let Worilds start. Draft a guy who played 3-4 OLB in college somewhere in rounds 3-5.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I agree Chris…restructure his contract into a 2 year deal so that we can save money but Harrison can make a lil bit more more total over his 1 year amount.

  • SteelersDepot

    sorry, had the decimal in the wrong place. makes a big difference.

  • Uh, sure they can, it’s called a restructure/extension and it happens all the time.

  • Seems pretty simple James. Your production has been way down over the last 2 years due to injuries, age ect. and the Steelers still paid you well…so take a pay cut this year like Hampton ( a 1st Round Pick and one of the best 3-4 NT’s to ever play the game) did last year. If not, bring on Worilds and we wish you the best of luck with your life’s work. Bring on 2013!

  • Clint Martin

    If the season comes next week and they don’t have a new deal and he gets released does n’t he still get the bonus monies owed to him and it goes against the cap?
    Can anyone answer this? Meaning Dave

  • walter mason

    Is restructure/extension the same as offering a new 2 year deal? I dont think so Steve. Wouldnt they have to cut/waive him in order to offer him a new 2 year deal with incentives?

  • Intropy

    He already received his signing bonus when he was signed. The year-by-year breakdown is per NFL rules on accounting for pay. He wouldn’t actually be owed any money. There may be so-called dead money, which is just that portion of the signing bonus (which you already paid) that you haven’t counted against any season yet.

  • walter mason

    Am I missing something? Harrison already has 2 years left on his contract. Restructuring/extension only creates future dead money.

  • Clint Martin

    So all bonuses are paid when contract is signed but they break it down throughout the contract and it goes against the cap season by season?

  • Intropy

    No, not all. The specifics are probably spelled out in the contract itself, but in general bonuses are paid when their qualifications are met. A signing bonus, which what you generally care about, is just that, a bonus paid when the player signs the contract. Something like a workout bonus is paid when the player works out as agreed, and a roster bonus is paid for being on the roster. What the practical difference between salary and roster bonus is, I don’t know.

  • Clint Martin

    Thanks for clearing that up for me I got it now.

  • Did Christopher ever say a “new” 2 year deal? I don’t think so Walter.

    And no, in fact, they would not have to cut him first any way. Any extension is not an add-on to an existing contract, but an entirely new contract that replaces the old one. So you are still wrong.

  • It would have to be 3 years, not 2, or be a restructure with a pay cut. He couldn’t do a 2 year deal and help the cap without taking a cut.

  • walter mason

    Chris wants to add incentives. Restructuring does not change the dollar amount of the contract or add incentives. I dont think it does or Harrison would never have agreed to restructuring. No way has Harrison agreed to “an entirely new contract.” It (restructuring/extension) simply changes base pay to a signing bonus that can be spread across future cap years. Its very confusing but Dave has been explaining this for months if not years. Maybe Dave can help explain it better.

  • walter mason

    If he accepts the pay cut, there is no need to restructure.