James Harrison, a longtime member of a Steelers and personality of dual Super Bowls while in Pittsburgh, is switching his allegiances.
Harrison sealed a understanding with a New England Patriots, alighting a 39-year-old linebacker on a conflicting side of a sour AFC adversary only in time for a start of a postseason.
With a week to go, a Patriots (12-3) lay atop a AFC with a Steelers (12-3) only behind in a No. 2 slot, potentially environment adult a rematch of final year’s AFC championship diversion in that New England was a 36-17 winner. It would be a third such assembly between a teams in that Harrison would play, though a initial where he’d be entertaining for — and not chasing down — quarterback Tom Brady.
Harrison and Brady already seem to be creation a transition from foes to friends good enough, as a former Steeler playfully posted to Instagram about his new teammate’s age. “Finally… A teammate that’s comparison than me!” he wrote.
A post common by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on Dec 26, 2017 during 1:25pm PST
Brady, 40, is a fifth-oldest active actor in a NFL; Harrison is a seventh oldest.
Pittsburgh cut Harrison, a team’s all-time personality in sacks with 80½, on Saturday. Harrison had played sparingly this season, appearing in 5 games and finishing his final debate with a Steelers with only one pouch and 3 tackles.
“There was no passion or bad feelings. It’s only a business of a NFL,” Bill Parise, Harrison’s agent, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Harrison competence not have any bad feelings about being cut, though Steelers fans competence about where he landed. The Steelers have historically struggled opposite a Patriots in a playoffs, losing 4 of 5 meetings dating to a divisional-round diversion after a 1996 season. Harrison, who had a 100-yard interception lapse for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII, lost twice in a postseason to a Patriots, including final year’s AFC pretension game, expected his final playoff coming as a Steeler.
“I’ve played with that man for a prolonged time,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pronounced Tuesday of Harrison’s release. “He’s one of a best that I’ve ever played with. Great teammate. So it was shocking. we was a small surprised.”
Of course, this isn’t a initial time Harrison and a Steelers have split ways. He was expelled in 2013 and snatched adult by a Cincinnati Bengals. He returned to Pittsburgh a following year, primarily signing a one-day agreement to retire as a Steeler before fasten a active register and recording 5½ sacks in 4 games. The Patriots expected are anticipating for a identical detonate of prolongation from a veteran; New England’s front 7 has been subpar for most of a 2017 deteriorate and is tied for 12th in a joining in sum sacks (38).
And while Harrison hasn’t constructed most during all this season, if a Patriots were to accommodate his former group in a AFC pretension game, Harrison’s laxity with a Steelers could lend an corner to a New England defense. There’s also a combined proclivity of confronting his former group to supplement to a equation.
Regardless of a circumstances, Harrison, who has played in 19 postseason games in his career, is back on a register and in row for a third Super Bowl ring. And this time, he doesn’t have to get past a Patriots.
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