James Harrison has terrorized the AFC North for the better part of the past decade at linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now his time in black and yellow is over — again.
The Steelers (11-3) released Harrison, 39, on Saturday after a season in which his playing time severely diminished while the wins kept piling up. The move corresponds with Pittsburgh activating offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert from the reserve/suspended by commissioner list following a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
A 15-year veteran, Harrison suited up for just five games this season and has only three combined tackles and one sack to show for it. This is the first time since 2002 that Harrison has appeared in less than 10 games.
From 2004-12, Harrison was one of the most feared defenders in Pittsburgh before the Steelers released him in 2013 after a contract dispute. Harrison then spent one year with the Cincinnati Bengals before returning to Pittsburgh midway through the 2014 season following a brief retirement.
A two-time Super Bowl champion, Harrison has racked up 82.5 sacks on 788 total tackles while being named to the Pro Bowl every season from 2007-11. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
– – – – – –
More NFL coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Teams want the NFL to force Packers to release Rodgers over IR use
• Gruden reportedly calling would-be assistants
• Star QB may return to UCLA to avoid being drafted by Browns
• Key to Rams’ success? Jeff Fisher takes the credit