Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers surprisingly released linebacker, James Harrison. Naturally, the Patriots arose as a possible destination for the Steelers all-time sack leader. After he cleared waivers on Monday, the path to the Patriots became quite clear. Now, according to Field Yates of ESPN, Harrison has been spotted in Foxborough, visiting with the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Source: former Steelers LB James Harrison is at Gillette Stadium visiting the Patriots today.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 26, 2017
Harrison at age 39 has played sparingly for the Steelers this season. In fact, he has played in just five games for the Steelers this season and just once since Week 7. Some of that is due to the emergence of young players such as T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. So the question is, how much does Harrison really have left?
Going to the Patriots seems like an obvious move for Harrison. For one, they are one team that has a better shot at the Super Bowl than Pittsburgh. The Patriots are dangerously thin in the front seven with the absence of guys like Dont’a Hightower, Shea McClellin, and Kyle Van Noy. For potentially four games, Harrison could be quite the add for a potential Super Bowl run.
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It’s a classic Patriots/Belichick move. If signed, they will have a specific role carved out for Harrison. At his age, it will likely be on a part-time and situational basis. However, if Harrison can give the Patriots 20 snaps a game for four games, that may be all they need. Not to mention the added emotional boost if the Steelers and Patriots happen to meet in the AFC Championship Game.
Harrison came into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2002. In 192 games with the Steelers and Bengals, Harrison has recorded 82.5 sacks, 570 tackles, 33 forced fumbles, and eight interceptions. A two-time Super Bowl champion with the Steelers, Harrison had one of the best plays in Super Bowl history. As time expired in the second half of Super Bowl XLIII, Harrison intercepted Cardinals quarterback, Kurt Warner on the goal line and returned it 100 yards for the touchdown. The Steelers would go on to win that game. Their second title in four years.