Report: James Harrison refused 30 percent pay cut to stay with Steelers

Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison may be a Raven in 2013. (USATSI)

The Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran linebacker James Harrison on Saturday, but not before making one last ditch effort to keep him. The team wanted to keep Harrison, but only if he was willing to take a 30 percent cut in pay, according to ProFootballTalk

"We just couldn't come to terms with something [the Steelers] were comfortable with and I was comfortable with," Harrison said on NFL Total Access. "It's a business and we had to part ways."

Harrison's base salary in 2013 would have been $6.57 million, but if he had agreed to the 30 percent pay cut, his salary would have been knocked down to about $4.6 million. However, Harrison would have had the opportunity to earn the 30 percent back in the form of incentives. The specific terms of those incentives were unknown, according to PFT. 

Instead, Harrison will test free agency, where he believes he can get more than the $4.6 million he was offered by Pittsburgh. 

Ironically, Harrison could end playing in Pittsburgh next season -- at least once. Both the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens are said to be interested in Harrison. Harrison's agent Bill Parise, seemed intrigued by the Ravens. "Baltimore would be a great fit, a contender and a class organization and they have a need," Parise told the Baltimore Sun.

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CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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