For a moment, it looked like James Harrison wasn’t going to stay without a team for a long time. After being cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers and paying a visit a bit too late to the Baltimore Ravens, another AFC North team, the Cincinnati Bengals, turned out to be the probable answer for his employment problem. Until, that is, the money issue came up.
Harrison wasn’t cut from the Steelers just because he’s getting older and lost a step. The money and his salary in 2013 was the issue. He was set to make $6.57 million next season, but because he refused to take pay cut, the Steelers released him. Harrison made it well known that he’d like to return to Pittsburgh, but the Steelers have made every sign possible of not really wanting him back.
The Bengals and Harrison are still negotiating, but it looks like his salary demands aren’t quite what Cicny expected them to be, not to mention the fact that after his injury last season and at the age of 34, Harrison isn’t the every-down kind of pass-rushing defender they’d like to have. Karlos Dansby, leaving the Miami Dolphins, is also on their radar, and while not bringing the kind of sack numbers Harrison has provided over the years, he’s much more capable of playing every snap.
And that is where the deal is stuck at the moment. Harrison seems like the player with more of an upside, not to mention the motivation to show the Steelers and the Ravens he was worth the money and still has the ability to make an impact. Dansby is the cheaper, maybe even more reliable option. Teams not looking to become big spenders usually make the safe, cheaper choice.