Think back for a second to 2014.
James Harrison had officially retired from football after being released by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals in back-to-back seasons, and then Jarvis Jones broke his wrist.
Harrison comes out of retirement to play out the 2014 season, and signs an extremely friendly 2-year, $2.75 million dollar contract to start the 2015 season. To be honest, most didn’t think the aging linebacker would even play out that particular contract, but here we are talking about Harrison’s next, and probably last, contract with the black and gold heading into the 2017 season.
It was recently reported how Harrison’s agent Bill Parise told media Harrison and the Steelers have a mutual interest in Harrison coming back for the 2017-2018 season. However, while most rejoiced, there might be a sticking point to these contract negotiations.
Harrison, who will turn 39 years-old in May, wants a two year contract, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, not a one-and-done deal. You can’t blame him. After all, he ridiculously out-performed his last two-year contract, all with a very generous agreement with the franchise which brought him plenty of fame and fortune.
So, with that said, will the Steelers give Harrison a new two-year deal? They certainly could, but they would have to make the contract one which they can get out of after Year 1 if they choose. The general thought on these negotiations are that Harrison might not be willing to take such a hometown discount if/when he returns to the Steelers.
Harrison becomes a free agent on March 9th, the start of the free agency period in the NFL, and the Steelers will likely make a decision on Harrison in the near future. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on this story, and all others surrounding the Steelers this offseason.