Several players have gone from Pittsburgh to Arizona, and two currently on the Steelers' roster - defensive end Brett Keisel and outside linebacker James Harrison - turned down offers to play for former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in the desert.
While playing for the 9-2 Cardinals would certainly have its competitive benefits, what's even more surprising is the amount of money Harrison left on the table.
"I had a deal in Arizona," Harrison told MMQB editor Peter King. "I could have gone to Arizona for $2 million guaranteed. I kept asking for more money, and I could tell they wanted me to sign. But at the end of it, I didn't want to play anymore ... if I had to be away from my kids. I was already away from my family for a year in Cincinnati, and I wasn't going to do that to them again."
Eventually, the ideal situation for him presented itself.
"Then the Steelers had that injury (Jarvis Jones suffered a wrist injury in Week 3), Harrison told King. "At, like, 4:03 a.m. [Monday], Brett Keisel texted me: ‘Come back.' Coach [Mike] Tomlin called me. But I wasn't going to come back if it wasn't okay with my boys. So I asked them, and they both said yes. And I signed."
James Harrison destroyed the Baltimore Ravens.
According to Over The Cap, Harrison signed for the veteran minimum and, with a rule in place to only count a cap charge of a second-year player, Harrison is making $955,000 this season while counting $534,212 against the cap.
Harrison needed a few games to get back into the swing of things - he didn't participate in training camp, preseason or the first three weeks of the season. He had a week of practice before getting on the field against Tampa Bay in Week 4.
The results weren't great. He struggled in his first two games but, by Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts, he was the Steelers' most consistent defender. He had two sacks in both Week 8 and Week 9, and has not only provided stability in Jones' absence, he's improving the production at the position.
So who's to say he wouldn't take another season in Pittsburgh? Harrison himself suggests this really may be the end of the line this time. Then again, maybe his kids, who famously had to give approval on his comeback, want one more season. His production now speaks for at least a good reason to think another one-year deal to bring him in training camp would be worth the risk. Just don't tell Warren Sapp Harrison's biggest concern.
"I can't say I'm shocked, where I'm at," he told King. "I've done this before. After games, you're sort of questioning why you do, because you get so sore. I'm old and slow. Like I've said, this is God's work, not mine."