Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Waive Veteran James Harrison

December 26, 2017 - 12:01 am
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Author: Brandon Golden

 

On Saturday (Dec. 24), James Harrison was released on waivers by Pittsburgh Steelers and move to free agency on Monday (Dec. 25) after not being picked up by another team. Harrison was a two-time All-Pro linebacker and leads the Steelers franchise record in sacks. 

Harrison hardly played in the 2017 season, only playing 40 snaps in five regular season games. Backing up Steelers new guy, rookie linebacker T.J. Watt who played most of the snaps this season. Before the 2017 season began,Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter stated that Harrison would be in a back up position; becoming a “safety net” and “release pitcher”. 

Harrison was released to make salary cap room for offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, formerly of the Houston Texans. In 15 seasons with the Steelers Harrison racked 82.5 sacks (franchise record), eight interceptions and 570 tackles. 

While Harrison’s release was sudden, I can’t help but wonder what is next for the 39 year old veteran moving forward. Being an older athlete — while still in great shape for his age — that is past his prime makes him a risky pick for NFL teams moving forward. Harrison also will have to be open to the idea of new deals with less money attached. What happens next is yet to be seen but Harrison is optimistic about the future, posting an Instagram picture expressing his readiness to move forward saying, "Can't wait to find out what God has for me next. Many thanks to Steelers Nation for the years of love and support." 

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