While most of the NFL world found themselves entranced by James Harrison expressing his touchy-feely side when addressing the media officially for the first time as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, eventually someone had to go and toss salt in what was supposed to be an old wound.
Evidently, it does still sting a little bit.
Harrison: 'I understand it's a business... but to say [the Steelers not re-signing me] doesn't motivate me would be a lie.'— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 14, 2013
Once the Pittsburgh Steelers released him after he refused to renegotiate his contract to a 30 percent decrease, Harrison's agent tried to shop the player to every team. The only sincere suitors came from his former team's division rivals. After failing to squeeze an offer out of the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals decided to take a look. They must have liked what they saw, because he will be a starting member of their defense in 2013.
Most people took his tour of the AFC North as an intentional jab at his former team, as confirmation of comments out of Cincinnati which claimed Harrison hated his former employer. Harrison spoke for himself soon after, to deny such hatred; and even now, he recognized the business aspect of the situation, but acknowledges it does burn at him still.
As if the Bengals and Steelers needed any added motivation during their contests, Harrison will be looking to make his former team pay for not paying.