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View Full Version : Releasing James Harrison should not be an option



BlitzburghRockCity
02-10-2012, 08:14 PM
There seems to be a lot of chatter lately around twitter of people writing articles and having this notion that the Steelers should release James Harrison this offseason. There's several reasons that they cite for this, some harp on one more than others but if you talk to those that think he should be gone they'll make every excuse in the world.

-Salary cap: This one is the only legitimate reason in my opinion. His base salary is $5.315 million but his cap hit includes a pro rated signing bonus and takes it to $9,430,500. That's a monster size number for any team to handle no question about it. However, with the Steelers ability to maneuver around money to get cap compliant each year, they'll be able to handle it. Restructuring his deal should be an obvious solution, pushing back his yearly salary off of this years cap by giving it to him in a signing bonus. They do this sort of thing every year with players, every team does. The team has already redone Ike Taylor, Lamarr Woodley, and Lawrence Timmons' contracts plus they released Battle and McFadden. As of now they are under $10 million year to free up which is not a tough thing to do when you have a front office headed up by Omar Khan. There are other ways to free up money with restructures and cuts yet to come that should keep Harrison safe.

-Injuries & age: Those 2 back surgeries are a distant memory right now for most everyone. Early in the season he was visibly slower and not as powerful, that's to be expected after not being able to work out like he usually does. We all remember him barely able to chase down a Quarterback after beating the Tackle. That orbital bone injury might have been the best thing that happened to him, if that's possible. He missed 4 weeks with that injury but was able to take that time to continue to get back in shape in the training room as well as just generally heal up. He came back in week 9 against Baltimore and had 8 Tackles and 3 Sacks. He also put up 3 Sacks against the Bengals and 1 vs the Rams. Harrison finished up the year with 59 Tackles, 9 Sacks, and 2 Forced Fumbles. Nobody can look back and tell what might have happened but you have to think he would have been closer to 15 Sacks on the year if he doesn't miss those 4 games. Consider too he did it basically on his own because Lamarr Woodley missed 6 games with a hamstring injury and was largely ineffective when he did come back. Harrison can still get it done, there's no reason to cut him because of injury or age right now.

-Fines & Suspensions: Considering how bad 2010 was for him, having been fined $125,000 over the course of the season, he played by the rules for the most part in 2011. The only blemish was the suspension for the hit on Colt McCoy which I still say was bogus because of the timing of the hit. He may not like it, and he certainly can't stand Roger Goodell but James can play within the rules of the new NFL; although he may bend them just a tad here and there.

-Social: This isn't even a valid reason of all to consider letting him go fi you ask me. Honestly, I think most fans think his comments are pretty funny, and those that don't may not like them but more often than not they're true. When he tweeted, "Told you, cheaters never win!!!!!!!!!" it of course got the attention of the nation media. I would guess that every major sports outlet has an employee who gets paid to watch Harrison's twitter account. It is what it is; Harrison is going to speak his mind no matter what. It's what you get when you have a player like him on the field. He's a team player, a great guy in the locker room and respected on the field.

I will say his comments in the Men's Journal article weren't exactly stellar but to be fair some of them were taken out of context. Should any of us expect anything less out of a man who's as old school in his style of play as he is with his attitude about football in general? Maybe he should have been playing back in the 70's.

The Steelers take image seriously and I'm sure Art II cringes every time Harrison makes a newsworthy comment somewhere, but it's not like James is the first player in Pittsburgh to shoot his mouth off. They can handle it.

The last major reason to not even think of releasing Harrison is probably the most compelling: Who are you going to get to replace him? You already saw how bad things could be when he was out and Woodley was missing too. Jason Worilds did play a bit better down the stretch but there's no way you can count on him to be as effective as the team needs him to be if Harrison is gone. That means you have to draft another OLB and hope he can start right away. Considering the needs on offensive line, defensive line, and linebacker depth already that should be enough right there to keep him around.

Thoughts either way?

Nolrog
02-10-2012, 08:26 PM
There seems to be a lot of chatter lately around twitter of people writing articles and having this notion that the Steelers should release James Harrison this offseason.

This has been a particularly retarded off-season for the Steeler Nation.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-10-2012, 08:38 PM
The Steelers releasing Harrison would be rather stupid........Jason Worilds and Chris Carter havn't shown they're ready to start at Harrison's spot........

LatrobePA
02-10-2012, 10:03 PM
I have mixed feelings on this one! I love James but he just seemed slow as hell this past season!

MattyVfromCT
02-10-2012, 11:33 PM
I have mixed feelings on this one! I love James but he just seemed slow as hell this past season!

well he was recovering from 2 offseason back surgeries and a reduced workout because of it. early in the year yes, but he played much better as the season went along. 9 sacks in only 11 games is pretty damn good for anybody, especially a 33 year who came into the season with 2 back surgeries and missed time because of a broken orbital bone and a RIDICULOUS SUSPENSION.........

HUNT4SEVEN
02-11-2012, 02:19 AM
well he was recovering from 2 offseason back surgeries and a reduced workout because of it. early in the year yes, but he played much better as the season went along. 9 sacks in only 11 games is pretty damn good for anybody, especially a 33 year who came into the season with 2 back surgeries and missed time because of a broken orbital bone and a RIDICULOUS SUSPENSION.........

My thoughts exactly:yellowthumb:

JollyRob68
02-11-2012, 02:22 AM
Need to reduce the money he makes. This should be his last year, Perhaps a draft day trade but not a straight out release this year.

SteelCityVoice
02-11-2012, 03:00 AM
If there was a legitimate outside linebacker on the roster ready to step in then MAYBE you could cut him. This isn't like the situation at WR where Hines Ward is 5th or 6th on the depth chart and due to make $4 million dollars.

I think the more likely cut targets are Larry Foote and James Farrior. I'd also take a look at whether it's time to say goodbye to Casey Hampton. Aaron Smith is likely done as a Steeler too.

There's a lot of cap space being tied up in veterans who are clearly getting too old to play Steeler football anymore. Nothing personal, it's just business.

Real Deal Steel
02-11-2012, 12:03 PM
The target on Harrison's back that has been put there by Roger Goodell is reason enough to think about releasing Harrison. Yes...what Goodall is
doing is unfair and wrong but because of this "target", the whole team is under target too. Harrison has to learn to play within the new rules the
league has mandated. If Harrison refuses (and so far, for the most part he has) then he leaves us no choice.

If Harrison seriously wants to stay, then someone in management needs to sit him down privately (away from media) and explain the full big picture to him so he can understand what he has to do going forward to be a part of this team. Or...he needs to be traded or cut.

SteelCurtain68
02-11-2012, 12:36 PM
[QUOTE=If Harrison seriously wants to stay, then someone in management needs to sit him down privately (away from media) and explain the full big picture to him so he can understand what he has to do going forward to be a part of this team. Or...he needs to be traded or cut.[/QUOTE]

You don't think that has been done? He has changed his style of play dramatically, but when your the poster child for every serious offense in the league, you can't adjust your play enough to do anything right in the leagues eyes.

Nolrog
02-11-2012, 01:01 PM
Need to reduce the money he makes. This should be his last year, Perhaps a draft day trade but not a straight out release this year.

If they trade him, his entire contract accelerates into this year's cap hit.

Just to correct myself. Not the entire salary, since it's not all guaranteed, but the remaining signing bonus.

Real Deal Steel
02-11-2012, 07:41 PM
You don't think that has been done? He has changed his style of play dramatically, but when your the poster child for every serious offense in the league, you can't adjust your play enough to do anything right in the leagues eyes.
No..from what I'm seeing, the team is taking on his perspective and verbally justifying what he does. So even if someone is talking to him privately, the team is taking the "victim" perspective of Harrison and that just empowers Harrison to be defiant.

DIESELMAN
02-11-2012, 08:48 PM
It doesn't matter if he changes his style of play or not, the damage has already been done (not entirely Harrison's fault). He needs to keep playing the way he has been, **** Goodell and his lack of sense fines and punishments. Harrison is a beast, he doesn't go out and deliberately try to hurt someone, he plays with passion and with a chip on his shoulder. I'd rather see him go out fighting and laying mother ****ers out then go out like a bitch.

Real Deal Steel
02-11-2012, 11:20 PM
I hear ya, but that Bullseye on Harrison is effecting the rest of the team and their tackling too. It's not really about Harrison to me. It's about the effect of what it's doing to the team. Yeah, it would be making Harrison a sacrificial lamb but I'd do whatever it takes to restore the total physicality to my team. And if getting a lighting rod off my team will do that, then so be it.

CowherPower
02-12-2012, 05:34 PM
I trust the Rooney's judgment to deal with Harrison. If they were going to cut him they would have done it last year with all the drama surrounding the Mens Journal article. They could have cut him the year before when he was fined all that money. They'll take his ability on the field over some drama now and then. He proved he can play in the league by altering his style just enough to stay legal most of the time.

He will always have that damn bullseye on his back though.

OldSchool58
02-13-2012, 08:46 AM
I can see the point about Harrison having a bullseye on his back...........

But I'm going out on a limb here and say that not only should we keep Harrison, but the Rooney's should pay his fines for him. Until someone in the league calls Goodells bluff and starts standing up, the NFL will continue to slide down the slope of panzyassism. Harrison is a pro football player born 30 years too late, that's all. If he was playing in the 70's no one would ever find anything wrong with his style of play. F**k Goodell and his stupid *** "vision" of a new NFL.

Number99
02-13-2012, 09:44 AM
I totally agree with everyone who has said F Goodell. And there is no way the Steelers should release Harrison. Biggest reason is there is no one they have who can replace him. The Timmons experiment at OLB was pretty bad. And as said Carter and Woirlds just aren't ready. I'd rather see Woirlds moved to ILB and release Farrior. Despite the so called "bullseye" on Harrison's back, his presense on the field is huge. You can see all the attention he gets and what other teams do to try and stop him. That in itself has been a major factor in the way Woodley has been able to develop. There are many moves that will happen this off season, I just can't see a Harrison release being one of them.

Real Deal Steel
02-13-2012, 11:16 PM
In all likelihood Harrison is going nowhere. But I"m sure that by the third round, they will be selecting a LB with that pick. It's just time. Goodall is a bastard and I can't stand to see his slimy, lying face.

Somehow, someway, we've got to get that bullseye off of Harrison..and us.

Nolrog
02-14-2012, 06:53 AM
In all likelihood Harrison is going nowhere. But I"m sure that by the third round, they will be selecting a LB with that pick. It's just time.

I agree. Except it will be a middle not an outside. Much greater need in the middle right now. Though, I do see a first round pick on OLB in the near future cause Worlids hasn't shown he could step in and take that job.

NYCsteelersfan
02-15-2012, 04:17 AM
The target on Harrison's back that has been put there by Roger Goodell is reason enough to think about releasing Harrison. Yes...what Goodall is
doing is unfair and wrong but because of this "target", the whole team is under target too. Harrison has to learn to play within the new rules the
league has mandated. If Harrison refuses (and so far, for the most part he has) then he leaves us no choice.

If Harrison seriously wants to stay, then someone in management needs to sit him down privately (away from media) and explain the full big picture to him so he can understand what he has to do going forward to be a part of this team. Or...he needs to be traded or cut.

This is very sad, but very true. However, all it would take is for ownership to make public comments about the bullseye and biased calls against Harrison and I promise that Goodell will remove the bullseye faster than you can say, "f#%k you Goodell."

Ownership didn't want to step up for Roethlisberger because it was rape and it was a touchy subject, that's fine (although I still think it was bull$hit for Rooney not to challenge the league since Roethlisberger was never even charged). But to allow the league to allow Harrison to be held so often, and then to be fined when he finally is able to get a hit, is just cowardly. You're the owner, watch some games, pay attention to the nonsense going on in the league that you helped build, and step up for your team and players.