Former Steelers LB James Harrison Knew Divorce Would Happen From The Start

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison made his preseason debut Thursday night with the Cincinnati Bengals as they took on the Atlanta Falcons and he talked to Lisa Salters of ESPN on the sideline about his reaction to no longer being with the team he played 11 seasons for.

“I kind of knew it was going to happen from the beginning of the talks because of how the talks were going,” said Harrison. “I really didn\’t think anything would get accomplished as far as something that I would be comfortable with and that they would be comfortable with. I didn\’t think there would be an agreement made and it wasn\’t. That\’s kind of something I knew from the beginning that was going to happen.”

The Bengals will of course play the Steelers twice in 2013 with the first meeting taking place in Cincinnati on Monday Night Football. Harrison was asked if he will have any extra motivation when he faces his former team.

“No, like I said, I\’m thankful and grateful for everything the Rooney\’s have done for me and the Steeler organization, my former teammates, but right now I\’m here,” he said. I\’m getting paid to play and this is where I\’m going to do the same thing for the Bengals that I did for the Steelers.”

Harrison, who now plays the SAM linebacker position with the Bengals, only played a few series in his debut with the Bengals and was credited with one tackle for no gain on the Falcons opening offensive possession of the game.

The Steelers cut ties with Harrison prior to the start of free agency when the two sides couldn\’t come to an agreement on a cut to his base salary.

If you have HBO, you can catch plenty of Harrison over the next few weeks on the NFL documentary Hard Knocks as the former Steelers linebacker appears to be a main character this season.

  • TJimmy

    Hopefully the prenuptual doesnt entail Ben getting walloped when the teams meet.

  • DoctorNoah

    Harrison was the highlight of the first Hard Knocks. Coaches are trying to tell him not to maul AJ Green, and actually tell him “no one touches the merchandise” to which Harrison doesn’t respond kindly. He also doesn’t hang with the other linebackers and perpetually looks like he’s about to kill someone.

    God, I miss that guy. What a gem, and what a Steeler. Colt McCoy still doesn’t know what day of the week it is. And he is responsible for maybe the best play in Steelers Super Bowl history (which was all instinct).

  • Anthony Renzelli

    Burress torn rotator cuff, could be season ending

  • Mike.H

    I’m no accountant, is Steelers on the hook for Plaxico’s entire year’s salary [torn rotator]? [ Had he been on roster day one of the season, he would’ve… right?]

  • sean mcmartin

    Injuries already piling up. So much for the rapport with Plaxico and BR. Nice to hear Harrison is still himself.

  • hergieburbur

    I think because it was in camp, they can do an injury settlement. I don’t think that counts against the cap, but I could be wrong.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    It counts. Just like Embernate.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I completely disagree with Harrison on this one. I believe he didn’t “know” anything that was going to happen. The Steelers made him an offer to stay with team at a reduced salary. He thought he could negotiate them higher. They refused and let him go. Then he thought he could get more money on the free agent market. Wrong again. He ended up signing with the Bengals for less money than the Steelers were offering. How does that make sense?

  • Luke Shabro

    Sometimes guys bet on themselves and lose. Interestingly enough, I think if he had waited longer I think the Chargers likely would’ve preferred him to Dwight Freeney after the Melvin Ingram injury

  • costanza2k1

    So he’s trying to say he knew he would take significantly less money than what the steelers offered him??? BS. He gambled and he lost

  • Vin Twok

    Agree with everything you say. He was and still is a beast. I loved how he was flipping off the HBO cameras in the meeting and then when doing the radio interview would turn his back to the HBO cameras as they tried to film him. One of my all time favorite Steeler. DEEBO!

  • Pete

    Neither Harrison, his agent, nor the Steelers have released what was offered. So you have no idea other than conjecture and rumor that he was offered less on the free agent market than what he was offered by the Steelers. The guy can play. At 30 whatever he’s still much better than 20 something Worilds. And we all know Worilds is either gone or a backup to Jones in 2014. Hopefully, Harrison can wind up his career in the next couple of years and retire a Steeler.

  • hergieburbur

    I thought that was only if he goes to IR. IF they cut him loose with an injury settlement, isn’t that a different story? Embernate is a different scenario.

  • StarSpangledSteeler
  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    The amount of the injury settlement counts to the cap. In this case, where it is an ACL injury and the guy is out for the year, the injury settlement is probably the same as a full year’s salary.

  • hergieburbur

    Ah ok. Gotcha.

  • hp b

    Lambert, Lloyd, Porter, Harrison, ?
    Always a player in there who intimidated.
    The neo-NFL can’t abide this anymore.

    Harrison had become a liability for Pittsburgh
    through no fault of his own but through policy.
    Also he’s the rarest of the rare – an honest man. As a rule.
    Hard to abide that as well. Especially for ego driven no talent lawyer types like Goodell and Co. They hate honesty.

  • Michael_Browne

    Harrison is a total embarrassment of a human being. He made his living off of cheap shots. Plus he’s a lousy teammate that disrespects his coaches. You’re celebrating a total thug… congrats.