As of Friday, former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has yet to be signed by team, but just because contract talks with the Cincinnati Bengals fell apart earlier this week, it doesn\’t mean that the former Defensive Player of the Year wont eventually wind up wearing stripes.
According to Geoff Hobson of the bengals.com on Friday, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is still hopeful the team can sign either Harrison or former Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby at some point.
“I think either player comes in and we make some adjustments to things we do and we feel good about it,” Lewis said. “They bring some playmaking ability to us and they would be good to have. They\’re good men. They would continue to enhance the defensive room and the team. Both guys are smart. We won\’t sign both”
The Bengals are still looking to fill the outside spot played by Manny Lawson, who signed with the Buffalo Bills during the free agent signing period this offseason. It sounds as if Lewis would be comfortable with either player, but in my opinion, Dansby would be a better fit. Not only that, Dansby is roughly four years younger than Harrison.
The Bengals have plenty of cap space at their disposal, but have never been a team to just throw money at a player. It is unknown if they will reach a deal with either player prior to the draft taking place next week, and if they don\’t, we should probably expect a signing soon afterwards.
If Harrison were to wind up signing with the Bengals, he would face his former team twice in 2013 with both games currently scheduled to be played in primetime. The first meeting between the two teams will take place in Week 2 at Cincinnati on Monday Night Football with the second meeting coming Week 15 at Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football.