Talks between Bengals, LB James Harrison hit a snag
Negotiations between the Cincinnati Bengals and James Harrison have stalled, as sources claim not much progress has been made in the direction of getting a deal done as the two sides met again on Monday.
The Cincinnati Bengals have a pressing need at outside linebacker ever since 2012 starter Manny Lawson landed with the Buffalo Bills during free agency. The former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and ex-Miami Dolphins’ Karlos Dansby visited the Cincinnati Bengals last week. But the Cincinnati Bengals are in no rush to sign James Harrison while Karlos Dansby is looking more like a fall back option.
The 34-year-old James Harrison has been searching for a new team after seeing an end to a long-time association with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason. James Harrison was scheduled to make $6.57 million in 2013, but was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers after he refused to take a pay cut. Although James Harrison’ agent indicated the 10-year veteran could be willing to a return to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team showed no interest in bringing him back for the 2013 season.
James Harrison actively attempted to draw interest from the New England Patriots by expressing his desire to play alongside Tom Brady, and even aimed for the Cleveland Browns by saying he would love to play for the team. But neither team showed interest in him. At one point during the offseason, James Harrison had the attention of the Oakland Raiders. But he was stood up when the Oakland Raiders opted to sign Elvis Dumervil on the day James Harrison’s visit.
Now James Harrison could face a similar situation with the Cincinnati Bengals if a deal doesn’t fall through.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Cincinnati Bengals could string along James Harrison until after next week's NFL draft, during which the team look at the outside linebacker options available in the draft as well.
James Harrison spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers up to this point, since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State in 2002.
Last season, James Harrison missed three games due to a knee injury but was still one of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ consistent performers over the second half of the season. James Harrison tied for the team lead with six sacks and contributed a pair of forced fumbles as well in 2012.