Steelers May Have To Pay Up To Keep James Harrison

When the Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed James Harrison at the age of 36 to a two-year contract in 2015, they did so under very different circumstances. He was already a few weeks into retirement when they phoned him up and asked him to get off the couch and onto the field to absorb some snaps they would need to make up for after their starter went down.

For as well as he might have played in spurts during that 2014 season, even going so far as the earn the top spot in the rotation at the right outside linebacker position by the end of the season, he was certainly still a shadow of his former self.

There was debate as to whether or not he would even want to return for another year, and whether or not the Steelers would want him to return, let alone if he were able. After all, he was available for them to sign the year before after he was released by the Bengals, but they chose not to.

Yet they picked him up pretty quickly and he continued to play the bulk of the snaps, this time with Jarvis Jones, in 2015. He started out with a reduced role in 2016, but by the end of the year, he was logging every snap and was the clear starter.

Now, as we enter 2017, we have Harrison already virtually committed to returning and the Steelers unlikely to re-sign Jones, with nowhere else to turn, and a soon-to-be 39-year-old playing at the highest level that he has seen in half a decade or more.

That to me raises the question of what sort of deal they might have to work out for him in order to bring him back into the fold for another year, because the reality is that they got more than their money’s worth out of Harrison over the course of the past two years, and the player and his agent are certainly going to be aware of that.

The Steelers don’t exactly have any other compelling options to turn to. Neither Arthur Moats nor Anthony Chickillo—despite what some may protest regarding the latter—are really starter material, certainly not with long-term potential. Bud Dupree is progressing, but still hasn’t solidified himself as an obviously good starting pass rusher.

Pittsburgh’s defense still needs Harrison, probably even if they draft another pass-rusher in the first round for the third time in four years. Harrison wants to continue to play, and he also wants to stay close to home, so he surely has his sights set on the Steelers.

That might give the team a little leeway, but I can definitely foresee them having to pay more than many might think in order to bring him back, especially if they approach the situation realistically, knowing that he will probably be needed to continue to start this year.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • LHW

    Great situation for Harrison to be in, not so much for the Steelers. They seem to be inept since the last SB at developing a defense. This is going to be an issue for them.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Then pay the man for Gods sake!!!!

    This guy has played for (relatively speaking) dirt the last couple years, and is a Steelers LEGEND!!!

    It’s not like he will be asking for the moon given his age!!

  • Dan

    He won’t break the bank. He’s almost 40 years old. As well as he’s fought off father time, it’s a battle that no one wins.

  • NW86

    This is going to be a hard one to value for sure. The Steelers have certainly got more than their money’s worth, but by the same token, you don’t pay for the past, you pay for what you expect to get this year, and at 39, league history suggests that he will not be able to start 16 games or produce as much this year as last year.

    As far a leverage, James has some because of how well he did play and the fact that the Steelers do need him. But the team also has some because James has already said he wants to play, and there will be no other team interested at this point. So basically both sides need each other.

    I could see this one taking a while – maybe not as long as Fitzpatrick and Jets because the Steelers won’t allow it to be a news story for that long. But I could definitely see it waiting until after the draft, when the Steelers will (hopefully) have a 1st round draft pick in house to show a little leverage. In the end, Harrison will probably be signed for more than the $1.5M he made last year, but less than the several million that his production last year would suggest.

  • WilliamSekinger

    1 year 4 Mil partial (possibly 1.5 Mil) guarantee against injury.

  • stan

    James already tested free agency when he was 36 and it didn’t go well. At all. And at that time the only alternative the Steelers had was their first round pick so they actually have more choices now. I’m sure he and the team are aware that his value isn’t any greater today than it was then. I’d love it if they gave James some incentives so he can get a little more padding to his nest, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to be getting a $2M or so contract again.

  • thomas hmmmm

    He will get between 2 and 3 million for one season. IMO his biggest impact is off the field with the young players and leading by example on how to work and take care of themselves. That all rubs off on the younger guys which is truly invaluable. Hopefully the young guys go and work out with JH in the offseason again.
    IMO he is worth every penny just for that fact.

  • Sam Clonch

    Such a pessimist when it comes to re-signing aging vets. Now Harrison is going to be a bank breaker along with Timmons? Time will tell.

  • nikki stephens

    This is a no brainer and two-fer. We get a very solid OLB for a year or 2. And we get a motivational coach, leader, and off season trainer. We have to double that 1.5 million and add some incentives. On this roster, there is definitely, fat that can be cut or squeezed to take care of james.

  • Biggie

    Definitely need to add a 1st round pick at OLB who can learn under Harrison and eventually take over as the starter. There are a number of prospects (Barnett – Tennessee, Harris – Missouri, Williams – Alabama, McKinley – UCLA, Watt – Wisconsin, Smoot – Illinois) Miles Garrett – A&M is only guaranteed out of reach prospect. That said need Harrison back for sure and need to pay him, however will have use family members at this point. One son voted last year for him not to play and the other voted he could play but only for the Steelers. Will need to remind him of that. 🙂

  • Paddy

    Pay the man Shirley

  • Xi37

    Despite having a very good year, his market value won’t be much higher than the veteran minimum. Let’s not forget that his value to the Steelers is higher than any other team due to his comfort with the system. No team is paying Harrison to come in and learn a new system.

  • will

    —————————————————– Steelers OLB rush

  • johnhoien

    Perfect player coach.. especially if Porter is not keeping with standard

  • RickM

    I think there’ll be a modest, well-earned increase, but common sense on both sides will prevail. If James does want to play, there’s only one option.

  • Conserv_58

    Deebo has the leverage in negotiations this time around. Then again, what does that say when the Steelers have to depend on re-signing the oldest defensive player in the league to be their best pass rusher? Colbert and his scouting staff can not afford to blow another first round pick on another Jarvice Jones type player.

  • Conserv_58

    Do you really think that, at this point in his career, Deebo would even consider going to another team? IMO, as far as Deebo is concerned, it’s the Steelers or retirement.

  • Conserv_58

    Harrison will not be a bank breaker, not at his advanced age.

    As for Timmons, there are no assurances that the Steelers want to keep him, especially if he and his agent play hard ball in contract negotiations. Timmons balled out this season, but there is also the fact that it was a contract year for him. He is clearly not as fast as he once was.

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  • Conserv_58

    😉 They’ll need to add an additional $360K just to cover Deebo’s annual body maintainance costs for physical therapists and acupuncturists.

  • WeWantDaTruth

    Ideal situation: sign Silverback for another year AND either Perry/Ingram for a 3 man OLB rotation of Dupree/FA OLB/Silverback. Use #1 pick on BPA, ideally CB.

    This 3 man rotation will keep the OLBs fresh and build depth in case of injury. When Silverback retires next year, you’re set at OLB with Dupree and the FA OLB as your top starters.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Any and all that question whether he should be paid is either unashamedly cheap or simply stupid. The man is our best OLB and his work ethic is second to none. He bleeds black and gold. Pay the man Shirlie!!!!!

  • steelcityrepub

    steelers need to pick up elite LB this offseason.
    I dun trust bud dupree to be elite next year.

  • Bradys_Dad

    How’s about Vet Min and $100 -200K per sack 🙂 Imagine the incentive.

  • DB84

    knowing how much he spends on his health at least give him that much of a raise.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Matt –

    You’re really going to write this whole article and NOT tell us how much you think Harrison is going to cost?

  • Charles Mullins

    You know Dick is doing some arithmetic to see if they can get him…. I could see him going to the Titans.

  • Jeff Dudash

    Exactly. It’s being undersold here that Harrison has little leverage. There aren’t many teams that are going to want to sign a 39-year-old into a new system. So other than rejoining Dick Lebeau in Tennessee, Harrison isn’t going to be in high demand — regardless of his performance this season. Not to mention, Harrison has made $41 million in his career. Is he really going to want to learn a new system, join a new team and risk struggling in order to get an extra $1, 2 or even $3 million?

    I think they’ll sign him to a 1 year/$2 million deal with some performance bonuses to reward him if he ends up taking a lot of snaps again.

  • Joseph DeFazio

    2 years, $5.5 M, signing Bonus of $2M

  • Dobre_Shunka

    I’m as big of a James Harrison fan as anyone but I would definitely not overpay for him and I’m not sure how much I would be willing to pay for a 39 year old that struggles mightily in coverage. If I’m goin to shell out $$ for a free agent OLB (Harrison is no longer under contract) I think I’m investing in a younger guy with upside. Also, I’m not sure why they would have to pay a lot for him anyway, I am sure they would only be bidding against themselves. I think he would rather retire than go somewhere else at this point.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Well, I think it will be an interesting situation, but it will be on the Steelers figure if he comes back. Jh put it out there that he wanted to come back…imo that meant he’s willing to play for the Steelers number assuming they come up with something reasonable…he’s the best pass rusher on the team, (sad but true) but he’s not a full snap load player for 16+ games anymore.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Spot on…I think he can offer his expertise on the rip technique…having this new OLB (to be drafted) get a yr under his belt with Harrison will be huge if the kid takes it seriously and absorbs as much as possible.

  • Kevin Artis

    To me this is not a hard choice. Like the article said, he was a shell of his former self even last year. Yeah, he was the best pass rusher on our team but that doesn’t say a lot in my opinion. I said all along, if you are depending on a 39 year old to be your dominant pass rusher you are in trouble.
    If it was me, I wouldn’t bring him back. I didn’t even want him back last year because you didn’t know when father time will strike. We were lucky it did not happen.
    I am a James Harrison fan from the moment he was our starter. But it’s time to let him go and start with a rookie or a younger free agent to bridge the gap until the rookie is ready to step in.

  • lol thought the same thing.

  • If he will take 3 mil or less then yea. He definitely deserves to be paid though. And we are not paying him for “past production”. I’d put my house up on him being a significant contributor for us again next season and earning every cent of whatever contract he signs. Even if it is down the stretch, we’re going to want him come January I’m telling you.

    Plus I’d like whatever EDGE guy we draft this year to spend a season shadowing James Harrison and learning how a grown man approaches the game. The guy has been nothing but professional and I think they’d be stupid not to bring him back. Just like it was stupid to let him go to Cinci that year. I feel like Deebo wants to play, and he’s not worried about “top dollar”. Just give the man honest pay for honest play, this deal needs to get done, period.

  • Their defense is actually on the rise my friend. Not sure what you mean by inept. Look at all the young talent we have on that side of the ball! lol, you’ve got to be kidding

  • If James Harrison asks you for the moon, you better have a space shuttle already on it’s way.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Haha. I don’t typically like to dabble in the speculative market and projecting actual numbers, but it’s certainly reasonable to expect he’ll make more than the $1.5 million cap hit he cost the team in 2016. Maybe twice that, or a bit more. Not a crazy number, but enough to make a difference.

  • Matthew Marczi

    But they *are* in trouble, and he *is* their best pass rusher. So you just don’t re-sign him because if you re-sign him it means you’re in trouble, when, in fact, you actually are in trouble?

  • KingDale300

    Even pay for even play. Plain and simple. He will earn his given salary without question, we know this. We’re taking another pass rusher early this draft and the privilege to shadow Harrison for a guy’s rookie year is invaluable. Not that Harrison’s role is directly responsible, but he was present for Bud’s first two year’s and was not present for Jarvis’ first 1.5 yrs. And above all, Harrison is a born and bred Steeler. Let’s make his final ride mean something.

  • Its not about testing the market, he’s not going anywhere. It’s about making it worth his time at least. You’re kidding yourself if you think we have a better shot without him next season. He’s not going to break the bank. And he played for basically nothing the past two seasons. On top of that, they won’t be paying him for past production, they’ll be giving him a modest contract that I’d be willing to bet he earns every bit of. This isn’t injury prone Troy Polamalu or LaCandybar Woodley we’re talking about, It’s James Harrison. Steelers all time sack leader, and last season’s sack leader to boot. This should be a no-brainer, it’s low risk I think

  • Exactly

  • twitch.tv/smokerjoesteelers

    Well a lot of people doubted him from the time he came into the league and time and time again he has proven everyone wrong. He has been through a lot. Noone works out like he does and in fact I was going over some of his workout regimen videos and the dude is a beast. He might be 39 but he is still very productive and is shredded and he is still very disruptive and whomever lines up opposite of him is always fearful and HAS to hold him or else the qb will be down. I say pay the man. For the love of football pay him. 5 Mil is what I would offer. He is worth all of it. He wont take any plays off meaning whenever he is on the field he plays with a high motor. I would offer him 1 year/5mil or see if he wants to go for 2 year/12 mil but thats probably it because I cant see him wanting to play longer not because he cant but because at some point he has got to say ok I have given it my all and I want to spend time with my children.

  • Ludicrous

  • francesco

    Your right. No other team would take him at this point of his career. And so why would the Steelers bid against themselves as you stated? Instead have JH be part of the coaching team do as to teach the younger guys and the one they draft this year.

  • RickM

    Can’t see him ever getting more than $3M. My guess is between $2M and $2.5. Three million would actually really surprise me. But we’ll see. When do you think they’ll get the deal done. After the draft?

  • Any ideas as to who this elite LB they need to pick up will be? I don’t know if Bud’s ready to be elite either, but he sure made strides in the half season he played this past year. He did enough to show some promise for his future

  • mokhkw

    15 teams ran the 3-4 in 2016.

    It’s not the 90s anymore when we were the only team running it. LeBeau’s system is the most complex but he could easily fit in with a dozen teams next season.

    He left before when the Steelers didn’t want to pay him what he wanted, no reason he won’t again.

  • Nolrog

    If James Harrison asks for the moon, you tell him good luck, we’ll watch you in the telescope. I want him back but we have to be practical. There isn’t an unlimited amount of money.

  • H.K. northern cali

    Would the steelers be better off taking the money they would give him and invest it into a younger free-agent?

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Well, can’t see him going anywhere else so it’s a tempest in a teapot.

  • Rene Gonzalez

    They suck at finding or develop OLBs, but the defense as a whole is developing really good.

  • Rene Gonzalez

    Except that back then he learned what it is actually like to go to another team, and the experience didn’t turn out all that great.

  • LucasY59

    I dont think so because even if James gets paid more than he did last yr it still will be a lot less than a younger FA will get 3ish million for James, 5-10 for a FA (closer to 10 for a decent one)

  • stan

    He obviously thought it was worth his time the last two years, so a raise wouldn’t be necessary for that reason. Its clear that the team has a better shot with him around, but that’s true of many players. As always, the question is how many of those players we can fit under the salary cap.

  • stan

    The Steelers don’t invest big money in free agents and its not likely that they’d be able to while keeping Brown and Bell anyway. There’s a reason everyone is mocking edge rushers to the Steelers though…. Let the new guy come in and spell/ learn from Harrison for the first year and then take the job when Harrison finally succumbs to father time.

  • mokhkw

    Well he did go to a 4-3 team for what was the first time in his career since he was with the Ravens. I don’t expect him to go to a 4-3 team again either, so that counts out 17 teams but still leaves 14 others that deploy a 3-4.

  • Steel Your Face

    PAY. THE. MAN!

  • David Shoff

    yeah, but then they would put him back in coverage and not let him rush the passer. Is that pessimistic of me?

  • Matthew Marczi

    I have a feeling it’ll come relatively early. They didn’t waste much time re-signing him the last time they brought him back, and if anything he means more to the team now than he did two years ago. Definitely before the draft in my opinion.

  • PaeperCup

    That’s crazy, the Space Shuttle has no where near the propellant needed to make it to the moon.

  • David Shoff

    I would offer both Timmons and Harrison 3 mill a year. No reason that Timmons should make more then Harrison.

  • LucasY59

    I think part of the problem is that Arthur Moats is the highest paid OLB on the team, when It should be that Arthur and James have their salaries swapped

    I think there may be a situation where they ask Moats to take a pay cut or be released (even though they need OLB depth they dont need to pay that much for it)

    I have been thinking that $ might end up being the deciding factor on bringing back James, DeAngelo and even Lawrence

  • LucasY59

    so what you are saying is, they need to get Deebo some rocket boosters

  • PaeperCup

    Come to think of it, Deebo himself could probably power it. Put him in a hamster wheel or something.

  • Roger G

    $1,000,000.00 a sack should do it. Everybody’s happy

  • LucasY59

    so from what I gather in these comments is there are a lot of people that think James will leave town and chase money…

    he already did that and retired because he didnt want to play anywhere else than Pittsburgh where he could be close to his family,

    so really the only option is that he takes the $ offered by the Steelers or he retires (which makes it so the Steelers dont have to offer him a lot) I do think he could make more than he did last yr, but at the most they are doubling his salary which would pay him around 2.5 million, its not a ton of $ and I think it would be agreeable for both sides

  • LucasY59

    that would make the team have to cut him after he got about, since that would eat up the remaining salary cap space

  • Roger G

    Ok $750,000.00 a sack we’re still happy

  • Bobby hains

    If we had bill cowers defenses! An Tomlin’s offense now with Martavis is Bryant an co. Healthy we win our 7th SB

  • MC

    Yeah I agree, its far from a guarantee that a 40 year old will repeat his performance form the year before no matter how good it was, so I don’t think he will break the bank at all. Plus he loves the team and his teammates so I doubt he’ll sign for more somewhere else.

  • Kelly A

    Thank you Johnny for actually paying attention, I agree with you 100%. 3 rookies on defense that have become bonified starters; Sean Davis, Artie Burns Jr, and Javon Hargraves. This including a Tyler Matakevich that played extremely well when called, the defensive line that proved they can adjust with Cam Hayward injured, like you said, their defense is on the rise. What they are missing are OLBs whom have the right type of speed and flexibility (bend and dip), to put pressure on the QB. They need OLBs to compliment Bud Dupree.

  • Matt

    Agreed. They need James more than he needs the Steelers. They need to pay him and they need to draft his successor (one who can rotate in with him) in the 1st round.

    One thing this team needs in order to have any chance of beating the Patriots is a monstrous pass rush. Burns is going to keep improving and I would expect that by the end of next year he will have established himself as a very good young corner. Cockrell isn’t great, but he’s at least an average NFL corner and I think the team has to have some faith that Golson can come in healthy and play to the level he appeared to be capable of in college. The guy was not ultra injury prone in college. I think he had bad luck this year. I could be wrong, but even if I am, a strong pass rush and Willie Gay in the slot for 1 more year is going to show better returns on D than having a weak/depleted/still learning OLB corps and a bunch of 1st and second rounders in the secondary.

    Give Brady time to throw the ball and he will shred your D, it doesn’t matter how good the corners are. We need to be able to pressure the QB and James is still the best OLB when it comes to putting pressure on opposing QBs. Hopefully by the end of next year, Bud will have emerged as the #1 guy and whoever the team picks up as James’ successor will be well on his way to being capable of being the #2 or #1a guy.

  • Nolrog

    The defense is on the rise, but we are still light years away from being able to compete with New England.

  • Matt

    Steelers can’t afford that and have money to pay Brown and Bell. I believe that they’re also going to have to pay Tuitt, unless they want to wait until he’s a free agent, at which point his price tag will be much higher.

    I’m not sure they could afford Perry or Ingram even if they let James walk and still pay Brown, Bell and Tuitt. I suspect both Perry and Ingram have their eyes set on deals that are richer than $5m/year.

  • Matt

    Timmons also is no longer a 3 down guy. Or very soon won’t be. He made some great plays in pass protection at times, but there were also times when you had to wonder, why is he out there trying to defend a receiver or tight end who can really move.

    I think having him back on a reasonably priced 2 year deal is okay, but there has been an obvious dropoff in his play on passing downs. He’s still a threat as a pass rusher and good against the run. But in the passing game, he’ll be up and down and as the years continue to pass there will be start to be fewer ups and more downs.

    Much as folks would like to get another top corner in the 1st two rounds, I’d much prefer it if the Steelers got a great OLB prospect and a good potential replacement for Timmons. Problem is that I’m not sure there’s anyone who fits the bill on the latter who will be around when the steelers pick at the end of the second round.

    TE would be nice too. But the reality is that the returns from adding more weapons on offense aren’t going to be as significant as the returns from building the D. History indicates that we ought to expect Ben to miss or play like garbage in at least 4 or 5 games a season. In those instances, we need the D and the run game to carry the team. If Ben is out or if he’s playing poorly the way he did against Miami and Baltimore (in the first game this year), having more receiving weapons isn’t going to matter as much as having a D that can shut the other team down, shorten the field for the offense and generate turnovers and (ideally) points.

  • Matt

    I don’t know about that. They missed on Jarvis Jones. But did any first round edge-rushers in that class who the Steelers had any chance of grabbing turn out to be quality pass rushers? I think that Ansah, who they never had a shot at and who is really a 4-3 DE, was the only edge rusher who amounted to anything in that draft.

    Dupree came as a project with a lot of upside and he’s still early in his career. Woodley was a very good pick, until his poor conditioning habits caught up to him. Worilds was a solid 3-4 OLB. Not great, but not a whiff by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Rusted Out

    Jarvis was supposed to be that young guy to come in and spell / learn from Harrision. Let’s hope they don’t miss on a new young guy. This team will not survive the hit if they miss again.

  • Matt

    I don’t know about that. If they had Heyward, Tuitt and J-Wobble in a rotation and 3 quality edge-rushers in rotation as well (assuming they snap up at top level pass rusher in this draft, Dupree continues to develop and JH doesn’t drop off terribly next year), I think they will be able to compete with NE. Burns and Davis will continue to improve. I think Shazier will continue to improve as well. And Cockrell is a serviceable DB. I think Golson and Gay can provide a solid slot corner presence. And if the team is able to generate consistent pressure with 4 guys (rotating to keep them fresh), they can make life much harder on Brady than they did this past championship game.

  • Rusted Out

    Give a 39 year old 5-6 million? Put your loving bias of Harrison aside. The guy had 5 sacks this year, and he’s not getting any better. From a business standpoint, it’s a bad move and just absurd to play that amount of money for that amount of production.

  • Rusted Out

    The fact remains that unless they hit on a first rounder, James Harrison is still the best OLB to hold down the right side. They must bring him back. Even if they went out and got a big name free agent, and drafted one in the first, it would still be wise to sign Harrison for depth. We all realize he’s in the twilight of his career, but currently they’ve got no one else. You’re right, they’re in trouble.

  • The Truth

    When Harrison was re-inserted the defense played better. Next year Timmons is probably gone. Harrison could be a cap concern too. Dupree is still a question mark. Shazier looks good if he can stay healthy.

    The DL should be better next season.

    The DBs are anyone’s guess. Burns is a question mark like Dupree.

    The defense desperately needs a star OLB. The draft is deep for 3-4 OLBs, but the quality isn’t quite there, IMO.

  • Rusted Out

    I love it when fans talk about what the Steelers can afford. Why does everyone say that? What exactly are you basing that on, as if it can not be done?

  • John Pennington

    Pay Harrison remember you called him he didnt call you plus he has none more for the team that he was getting paid so be fair and take care of James and when ready to hang up his cleats move him in as strength and conditioning coach that should be in the contract also.He deserves it and the young men on the team and the ones in the future will benefit greatly by having him show them the way to stay in shape and how to take care of their bodies and maybe cut down on injuries. I would be down for making him lb coach he deserves all the team can give him.Heck have him go scout the new crop of LB.LOL

  • Ralph Wagner

    Harrison wants to play one more year. If he will sign a reasonable contract, what’s the problem? It’s obvious the Steelers haven’t anyone better at this time. Which is a sad state of affairs if there every was one. Poor drafting does that to a team. Better luck in April.

    Go Steelers

  • LucasY59

    12-14 million for Bell
    12-14 million for Brown
    10 million for Tuitt
    5-6 million for this yrs rookies
    40 million gone just like that….

  • LucasY59

    I think that is why they may go Reddick in the 1st and a OLB in the 2nd, CB in the 3rd and then get a 2nd OLB in the 4th or 5th,maybe add a 2nd CB as well, I agree the Defense is where they need to invest, the Offense should be good enough that any additions can wait till next yr (adding Bryant and hopefully having Green and Coates healthy should give the offense a boost) only position on O I would draft this yr is a RB as depth behind Bell (but with how they use Bell the rookie wouldnt see the field much)

    Reddick is a (potentially) elite ILB talent (like Shazier) that could play on passing downs instead of Timmons/Williams (Vince getting a deal last yr really reduces Law’s leverage in negotiations with the team, so IF he wants to play this yr for the Steelers he will have to play for fairly cheap (less than 3 million for sure and maybe as low as what they gave VW) having LT to learn from (as well as Shaz) should really help Haasan (but also means that this will likely be the last for Timmons, hopefully they can send off Lawrence and James as champions)

    Im still waiting to see how the combine goes to determine Reddick’s draft stock, if he does as well as expected he will solidify himself as a 1st rd talent, and even if he is only able to perform at the lowest level of what is expected it still makes him a good Athlete for a ILB and that could make it so the Steelers might get a chance at him in the 2nd and take a OLB in the 1st (either way there is good pass rushing talent and depth in this draft as well as CB so they should have luck getting the last remaining pieces to return the D to a respected unit)

  • LucasY59

    I bet a lot of those are tax deductions, I would think in job that requires physical ability to work would allow medical/maintenance stuff to be deducted as job related expenses

  • LucasY59

    and I expect them to add even more talent in the draft this yr, the D should start its return to being a respected/talented unit (having the Offense set with Talent the last few yrs has allowed them to invest in the D, and I think this yr they could really see some returns from the investment)

  • twitch.tv/smokerjoesteelers

    Yeah I may be a bit Bias but Harrison is a beast. He works hard is in great shape he doesnt get hurt he has a high motor, other teams fear him. Did you ever think he doesnt get all the sacks he should because of the frequency he gets held. I suppose those things dont matter to you but they very much matter to me. James can teach his replacement when the Steelers draft him this year or next. He can teach them how to be a playmaker,work ethic,workout regimen. Yeah he is 39 but forget that bs. Yeah I get that 39 is very old in football terms but you never factored in how his body has held up and he is in much better shape then you or I probably ever will be in. The worst thats gonna happen is he might sit out a few plays to catch a breather but then he is back at it and that is more then ok for me. You act as if players have NEVER played into their late 30’s at a high level. Favre had his best year ever in Minnesota when he came back from retirement again at the age of 40. Brady is looking at 40 and thinks he has some years left. Its all about strength and conditioning and James is simply aces in that department. Its also about past injuries. Can you think of any major injuries James has had? I sure cant. Most older players retire because they have a litany of old injuries that catch them and they just cant bounce back like they have. The only thing Harrison has lost in his age is some speed but he hasnt really been much of a coverage Linebacker as he is sent in to get a blockshed move the line and rattle the qb. So do you have any other reason besides his age to disqualify him because I dont. Please dont take this as a adversarial role as I am just defending my position with solid facts that confirm I am right.

  • JB Burgess

    James Harrison changed the season. Because that we were watching the Three Stooges (Tomlin, Lake and Butler) put on a clown show of stupidity. Pay him and let Timmons walk. Unless you want Butler scheming Timmons to trail Edelman all day, like a doofus.

  • Rusted Out

    So much wrong with your apology article that I’m not going to address it. It’s utter nonsense. Your first line of being biased is really all you needed to say. Harrison will make no more than 3 mil in his final year, and that’s on the high end. We’ll see who is right when he inks the contract. Tell me all about your solid “facts” then.

  • Rusted Out

    Great estimations Omar. Ever notice how fans make excuses for how the front office never signs a big name? But I’m sure those numbers are dead on and there is no cap room, right?

  • LucasY59

    I bet the estimations are more accurate than guessing the Steelers will bring in an expensive FA

  • Rusted Out

    lol, you got me there, but I think it more B.S. company rhetoric when people say it can’t be done. Plenty of other teams bring in FA’s with great success.

  • ns156

    Actually, given his age, if I were him I wouldn’t come back unless it was for damn good money. He isn’t going to come back on the cheap, that’s for sure.

    The real question is whether or not they can agree on a number that is fair to him but also takes the risk of paying significant money to a 39 year old player into account. He was amazing for his age this season, but at some point, he’s going to run out of gas, and the Steelers don’t want to be caught holding a multi-million dollar cap hit when he does. It’s a difficult situation.

  • twitch.tv/smokerjoesteelers

    Nah you seem like a dick so im done talking to you. Apology letter? How cute. I didnt apologize for a damn thing and in fact put you in your place. Why must everyone on the internet be well… like you. I have given solid reasoning and you are like age and thats it. There isnt any apology needed except perhaps from you for being a straight up jackass just because I have a different opinion then you. Do me a favor and never reply to anything I write ever again because to be honest sir after pissing your pants at my initial response isnt enough to warn me to stay the hell away from you then your failed logic and attempts at veiled insults are.

  • LucasY59

    It absolutley can be done, but because the Steelers dont spend big on outside players and they have players they want to keep (that will be expensive) its more than rhetoric that makes it realistic to say it wont be done

  • Rusted Out

    This year much more than others that may be true.

  • Rusted Out

    Apology accepted. Write me another sob story when Harrison signs for less than $3 mil.

  • Conserv_58

    Having first round pick, Jarvice fail miserably to fulfill the team’s expectations of him means he set them back. In fact, it was Jarvice’s ineptitude and injuries that prompted Colbert to coax Deebo out of retirement. According to Joey Porter, Deebo was being placed on a limited snap count due to his age. We all saw how that worked out. The fact is, without Deebo, the Steelers wouldn’t have made it to the playoffs, let alone, the AFCCG.

  • Michael James

    No, because there are no FAs out there that would be as impactful as Harrison, playing for peanuts like he does. It’s not even close. With the money they pay Harrison, they can get a backup like Moats, nothing more.

  • Michael James

    You realize they are in trouble? Look, I absolutely get that they need to find a young stud, but rookies aren’t ready for a full-time role in their first season and Harrison is still their best pass-rusher (by far). Letting him go would be a desaster for the Steeler’s pass rush, at least for next season.

  • Conserv_58

    By this comment, it is certain that you live in a delusional fantasy world. As for your assertion regarding players playing into their late thirties at a high level, the vast majority of them are QB’s and kickers, not OLB’s. There is no question that, Deebo is an enigma. If I’m not mistaken, James is the oldest starting LB to have ever played, in the history of the league. He is, pound-for-pound, the strongest player in the league. Then again, he does pay a high price to maintain his physical prowess. He admitted to spending $350k per year to maintain his level of physical fitness. When asked about Deebo’s workout regimine, all of the young Steelers’ linebackers have said, “We work out and train hard, but Deebo, he’s on a whole other level. When he’s working out we don’t go near him.” Jazz hands, Ray Lewis was 35 when he retired and when he did he was, physically, a shell of his former self. Strength wise, he was never on Deebo’s level. No other linebacker is.

  • Conserv_58

    Based on your first sentence, self realization that you positioned yourself as being a hypocrite escapes you.

  • Michael James

    Easier said than done. You won’t get one in free agency and draft picks are always risky.

  • Conserv_58

    That’s such a silly question. Did you see the season he just had? He now holds the team’s sack record. None of the Steelers’ young OLB’s fared as well. Furthermore, they invested a first round pick on bust, Jarvice Jones and then begged freshly retired, Deebo to come out of retirement to do what they drafted Jones to do. Deebo exceeded everyone’s expectations. That’s mostly because no one devotes more time and effort into training and taking care of their body than Deebo does.

    Steelers’ fans need to be reminded that when it comes to, Deebo they are watching history in the making. If he does re-sign he will be 40 years old in 2017. That, my friends, unquestionably makes him the oldest starting outside linebacker to have ever played the game, at a high level, no less. To put that feat into perspective he will be nine and ten years older than a couple of the new head coahes just hired. He is a living legend. Be grateful and just enjoy watching a man whom has no equal. I doubt that there will ever be another, James Harrison.

  • Iulo

    pay the man

  • Iulo

    cut Moats, no reason to keep him even if Jarvis is also not there…
    he had a horrible season, so he was overpaid…
    better bring a FA and draft another OLB

  • Michael Mosgrove

    could get a quality inside linebacker like reddick to take over for timmons.

  • Rocksolid20

    Gay has been good through the years but getting old and Golson has never logged a snap in the NFL , so I don’t know what you see in that guy ?!

  • Bob Byrne

    I remember a clip of Harrison telling a Pittsburgh sports reporter during the 2012 season, “What hometown discount? There’s no hometown discount.” And he laughed. And he refused a pay cut and was let go. Yes, they need him. But Pittsburgh’s history is to let a veteran go, not pay more than they’re willing. Franco Harris, Rod Woodson, Mike Webster: doesn’t matter who. If Harrison plays hard ball, they will stand firm and let him retire. And maybe at this age, he’ll be fine this time around. But if he wants to push the salary back up to bigger money, I think it’s going to be a lose-lose situation.

  • steelcityrepub

    Sadly, he has been the best OLB on the roster for two years and it wasnt even close.
    He deserves more than veterans minimum

  • He’ll either be a Steeler or he’ll retire. I guarantee he won’t be going to another team like he did a while back when he shamed himself becoming a Bengal.

  • Michael Martin

    Pay him. Want to see him knock the schmuck out of Brady.

  • The Truth

    That would be awesome, but he will probably be gone before 30.

  • Rusted Out

    No argument here. If you ask me, Jarvis’ injuries are a big reason as to why he is still with the team. I think there was no way they could even shop an injured first round bust. They should have off loaded Jarvis for whatever they could, to whomever they could. His athletic ability, and overall production has been nothing short of pathetic since day one.

    I don’t think people realize how important it is to hit on their #1 pick this year.

  • Me too. I think we all were excited about what 2016 potentially could offer, but most of us knew 2017 would be even better. I fully expect it will be.