According to the media reports on Sunday, it appeared to be imminent that former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison would be signing with the Cincinnati Bengals this week. As of Tuesday, however, that imminent signing doesn\’t look to be so imminent after all.
Adam Schefter of ESPN, who reported on Sunday that the two sides would try to complete a deal this week, reports Tuesday on Twitter, that while the two sides will continue to talk, one source indicated to him that it doesn\’t look like the numbers will work.
Bengals and former Steelers LB James Harrison continue talking, but as one source texted, "Does not look like the numbers will work."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 16, 2013
If you think that the Steelers can be cheap, you don\’t know the history of Bengals owner Mike Brown. We can only speculate, but it would not be surprising to learn that Harrison is being offered a very low base salary and NLTBE incentives related to sacks or playing time. Mind you, no numbers have been reported as to what Harrison is seeking and that is only a guess.
It\’s not like the Bengals don\’t have the need or the cap space, however. They lost outside linebacker Manny Lawson to the Buffalo Bills during free agency, but as of Tuesday, they have roughly $28 million in available salary cap space.
Since his release from the Steelers several weeks ago, Harrison was left at the altar by the Baltimore Ravens, who chose to sign former Denver Broncos linebacker Elvis Dumervil instead. The Bengals have also been reported to have interest in former Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby, but no deal has been struck yet with him either.
With the draft a little over a week away, things certainly aren\’t looking good for Harrison right now. Maybe that changes after the draft, and maybe he will need to think about lowering his asking price in addition.