When news broke in the early morning hours on the East coast Wednesday that Jason Worilds has decided to step away from the lucrative occupation of being an outside pass rusher in the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers fans immediately thought with Worilds out of the picture, James Harrison's return to Pittsburgh would seem imminent, but maybe not.
Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean is reporting, per Harrison's agent Bill Parise, that the veteran outside linebacker is intruigued by the chance of reuniting with longtime defensive coordinator and mentor Dick LeBeau in Tennessee with the Titans.
"We are certainly interested,'' Parise said. "James feels very, very strongly about coach LeBeau. And I know Dick feels the same way. It's a natural thing. I'm sure the Steelers are still in play, too. It will probably be one of those. I hope it's one of those. We are not ruling anybody out, but the two logical fits are Tennessee and Pittsburgh. Those are the team teams that make the most sense."
"James couldn't be better. He's in great shape, is working out, everything is good. His plan is to play this year,'' Parise said. "I would say something would happen in the next couple of weeks. He'd be an asset in transitioning into LeBeau's philosophy. It just makes an awful lot of sense."
When looking at the Steelers' depth chart at the outside linebacker position, the Steelers face more dire circumstances Wednesday than they did Tuesday when the option of re-signing Worilds was still on the table. Nonetheless, Harrison seems to be open-minded about possibly playing elsewhere in 2015 and not to simply wait around for the Steelers to pick up the phone.
With Jarvis Jones and Arthur Moats the only experienced outside linebackers currently on the roster, the Steelers will have to make a move to get an experienced pass rusher on the roster before the NFL Draft rolls around. After hearing Harrison's agent's comments, if the Steelers do intend on bringing Harrison back in 2015, they might not want to wait around too long before it becomes too late.