Bengals Sign Former Steelers LB James Harrison To Two Year Contract

That didn\’t take long. Adam Schefter of ESPN now reports on Twitter that the Cincinnati Bengals have indeed signed former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison to a two-year contract on Friday.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said earlier in the day that he had not given up on signing either Harrison or former Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby prior to the draft.

Reports earlier in the week suggested that talks had stalemated with Harrison and that a signing was not imminent.

Harrison took to Twitter after signing to express his excitement. “Whodey!!!!!!!!!!! Hello Cincinnati!!!!”

Harrison will get a chance to face his former team in Week 2 as the Bengals will host the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

Harrison was released by the Steelers in early March. He had been scheduled to earn a $6.57 million in base salary in 2013 and reportedly refused to take a pay cut of around 30 percent to stay with the Steelers.

  • Kevin Gobleck


  • Addison

    Can’t wait to hear the stories of him in training camp hurt. He’s going to be lost in a 4-3 defense

  • Pete

    Well, it looks like Adams and Gilbert will have there work cut out for them when the Steelers play the Bengals. Tell me that Harrison won’t be motivated to sack Ben. I just don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing him in orange. But I’m much better with this than had he signed with the Ravens.

  • SteelerDave

    He is a man who bled black and gold for so long and gave us many wonderful moments in sports as a Steeler. I wish James all the best in life.

  • Chris Ranieri

    Lost, no. Ineffective, or less effective, probably. Being 35 and having to make that adjustment won’t be easy for him, in my opinion. But all in all, he’s still a football player. He knows what he’s doing.

  • Pete

    Lost and hurt is more apt for Woodley. Btw, Bengals run multiple front D, James will be in on passing downs. He’s not turning into a 4-3 OLB. Bills run a 3-4 and where did Manny Lawson go?

  • Chris Ranieri

    2 years, 3.5 million? That’s my guess.

  • Steelers32

    I am glad he found a spot, would rather it was in Arizona or something way out of the AFCN but, all in all glad for him.

  • Addison

    you’re right about that. I hope woodley comes back strong

  • Addison

    I cringe every time they restructure him now.

  • Congrats James, your area of coverage has just now doubled. Good luck with that one…

  • Cincy had a lot of cap space. Cannot wait to see the numbers on this compared to what the Steelers offered.

  • JohnnyV1

    Well, after Greg Lloyd, Kevin Greene, Jason Gildon and Joey Porter all left as former Steelers Probowl OLB’s, what’s one more. He helped win us a few Superbowls, so gotta wish him well, except two games a year now.

  • TsarPepe

    This could be either shocking or embarrassing. Shocking, if they gave him anything close to what he was asking from the Steelers. Embarrassing, if he ended up taking a much bigger cut than what the Steelers were offering.

  • SteelSpine

    Yep. Including for that greatest runback after INT in SB he’ll continue to deserve a ThankYou.

    And Harrison gave his body to the NFL. Including last year to bring him back at mid-season Steeler staff probly injected his back etc with painkillers, because they could no-longer take watching how ineffective his replacement Chris Carter was.

    As with Shea Fahr I’m interested in how much his deal is for. And I’m curious how they hedged the contract so they wont get stuck with too much dead cap space after he gets the likely flare-up of old injuries.

  • SteelSpine

    Well put. & could add Chad Brown since some of his years was at OLB.

    Interesting re all the LBs who left for other teams is they didn’t come back to haunt Steelers (that I recall). Which reaffirms how great of DCoords we’ve had here & that the Steeler FO knew the right time in the OLBs’ careers to not outbid to keep them.

  • SteelSpine

    I agree I too am interested in how that beat-up body can play in a 4-3.
    Default guess is he’ll play strong side OLB, so at-least that’s not weakside, but 4-3 being more field to cover, I’d like to hear Marvin Lewis explain. Maybe Cincy wants to switch to being a 3-4, or could they even play him at end in 4-3. No doubt Marvin Lewis will be asked about it in a press conference.

  • Exactly, that is why I would like to see the contract number because he has to be a situational pass rusher in a 4-3 anyway. Maybe I am wrong but it took him the better part of 6 years to learn the 3-4. James is one of my Favorite Steelers ever but I can’t wait to see these numbers.

  • Yes.

  • SteelSpine

    I agree. As it stands now It could be like a pit bull seeing a steak which is guarded by puppies.

    But the only reason I don’t think Steelers need to worry is I don’t foresee Harrison playing in both games against Steelers; his old injuries of his beat-up body will be re-aggravated enough to keep him out of games. Odds are therefore he wont be in both their games against Steelers, especially the 2nd meeting of Steelers-Bengals.

  • David Edward

    Will be interesting if Ben sings the praises of Harrison the way he did Wallace. Might as well be consistent…lol.

  • Tom

    Best wishes to JH. You will forever be remembered as a Steeler.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I have to be honest. This situation just sucks all around. We wanted Harrison back. We tried to be fair. But we spent so much money being loyal to our veterans we didn’t have the room to pay him.

    Harrison shouldn’t have been so stubborn/prideful. He had one good year left in him. He should’ve spent it with us and retired a Steeler.

  • Eric MacLaurin


  • zipposteelers

    Not happy he chose an AFC North team. Hope haley schemes to get him in coverage of any player..exploit the age ..

  • hergieburbur

    To be fair, his contract was written so he would have to take a pay cut or get cut this year. That was visible years ago, and he and his agent had to know it.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Absolutely. But his agent also had to know that Harrison’s new contract (from a different team) would likely be less than the $4+ million (reduced salary) we offered him this off-season. How does James win by signing with the Bengals?

  • hergieburbur

    Oh Ego was definitely in play as well, which is why I think He and his agent handled it wrong.

  • walter mason

    I agree this suks. Harrison can play and Im sad to see him on the other team. Maybe he wont be coachable.

  • grw1960

    Glad for Deebo , that he found a pay check.
    If he is used mainly as a pass rusher, I feel sorry for Gilbert and Adams

  • Bradys_Dad

    I just wonder how much of this (not re-signing JH to a 30% cut) was advice from his agent and how much was JH’s pride. If it was his agent – then his agent is/was a fool. In any case I wish him well and hope that he has a great season except for the 2 games against us. It’d be interesting to bring back Starks and have him fend off JH’s bull-rush. I’m a little worried about Gilbert or Adams taking on that role. OK, a lot worried.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Exactly. Thats why he had received an upfront bonus, becaus the last year of contract was not to stand up.