The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of decisions to make this offseason about which players to keep and which to let walk.
One of the more important decisions may not be up to them, but James Harrison.
You may recall that two years ago Mr. Harrison retired from the NFL. What exactly he had in mind to do without playing football we have no diea, but eventually he realized that he still belonged on the field.
During the 2015 season Harrison proved that he can still get it done.
At an age when most players are writing memoirs or coaching their kids’ high school teams, Harrison is still a wrecking ball for opposing backfields. For the season Harrison tallied five sacks and two forced fumbles, bringing his career totals to 76.5 and eight. Harrison also recorded his seventh interception and defended four passes.
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The advanced stats folks still think highly of Harrison as well. Pro Football Focus ranked Harrison the 14th best edge defender in the NFL this year. He also played more snaps than any other Steelers outside linebacker.
Prior to last season he signed a two-year, $2.75 million contract, which turned out to be one of the great bargains in the league. Now the question is this: will he return and play out the end of his deal, or will he finally hang it up?
According to Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Harrison hasn’t made up his mind yet:
“I’m not ready to make any type of decision,” Harrison said. “If you were to ask me something like that right after a loss, nobody wants to go out with a loss. It’s going to be an immediate, ‘Yeah, I’m coming back,’ not taking into account everything else. Right now, I’m not ready to make that decision.”
Apparently his plan for the offseason is to do an “active rest,” which means he’ll keep up the cardio but won’t try those legendary weight training sessions until March.
Which way will he go? That’s anybody’s guess, but based on the quote at the end of the article it sounds like Harrison has a bad taste in his mouth that he’d rather get rid of.
“We’ve got to build from the bottom back up. Remember the feeling that you had of losing this game. You don’t want to go through that feeling again.”