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James Harrison masterfully forced the Pittsburgh Steelers' hand

A well-timed Instagram video, a meaningful caption and James Harrison now has a new 2-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well played, sir.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't want to sign James Harrison before the upcoming NFL Draft. They likely wanted to wait until August, similar to Brett Keisel's return to the organization in 2014, and bring in Harrison to help bolster the OLB position.

Nonetheless, all it took was a well-timed Instagram video talking about the choice between the Tennessee Titans or the Steelers, and you felt the Steelers brass start to sweat. What if he follows LeBeau to Nashville? Jason Worilds retired, then what would we do? Could Harrison really leave Pittsburgh again?

Those questions won't ever need to be answered because the Steelers abruptly offered the 37-year old linebacker a 2-year contract which he gladly signed. Did Harrison force the Steelers hand? They'd never admit it, but my guess is he certainly did.

The Steelers knew they had Harrison in their plans, but wanted to take a wait-and-see approach as they did with Keisel last season. Harrison's simple threat of joining LeBeau and the Titans might have just been a big enough threat to cause the Steelers to open up the wallet and give the man his pay, even if it was earlier than expected.

Granted, all this is secondary to the issue the Steelers needed Harrison back on the team for depth purposes, but don't think for a second Harrison and agent Bill Parise didn't have a conversation about when they wanted a contract offered, and how social media certainly could be a tool to use in their advantage.

Some might say he used his two sons as pawns in the greater scheme of this process, but as for me, all I can say is - well played James, well played.