When the Steelers released James Harrison days before the start of free agency, it created a void at outside linebacker. Yes, the 34-year-old former defensive player of the year battled injuries in recent seasons, but he played well down the stretch in 2012 and the coaches wanted him back in 2013.
But when Harrison was uninterested in reducing his $6.57 million salary, the Steelers decided it was in their best interest to part ways. In the immediate aftermath of that decision, Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, made it known that his client would love to play for, well, just about everybody. The Browns, Saints and Ravens were mentioned, and Parise and Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome have spoken recently about Harrison.
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For now, though, there doesn't appear to be much of a market for one of the best outside linebackers in Steelers history.
In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King writes that Harrison "is the coldest name of them all here at the NFL Meetings," which are taking place in Phoenix, Ariz. this week. "Cannot find anyone admitting to being interested in the former Steeler," King continued. "It seems if he wants to play this year, he'll have to do it for less than half of what he was supposed to make for the Steelers. He should have taken the cut the Steelers were offering."
Given that Pittsburgh lacks depth at the position, and that the coaches were keen on keeping Harrison, a reunion seems reasonable -- except that neither general manager Kevin Colbert nor coach Mike Tomlin have mentioned it when speaking with the media. But Tomlin did talk about backup Jason Worilds, who'll be thrust into the starting role.
"I believe [Worlids] is champing at the bit to show people what he can do," Tomlin said via Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest. "Change provides opportunities for people to ascend."