The Pittsburgh Steelers got worse on Saturday, and they weren’t that good to begin with.
The Steelers released James Harrison, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and that was a mistake.
NFL games are not won or lost in March, but right now it’s hard to feel good about the Steelers’ chances of improving on their 8-8 record next season.
The Steelers had been cleaning up their salary cap mess by restructuring contracts. But unlike last year, when they released Hines Ward and James Farrior, the process had been relatively pain-free.
At some point the Steelers were going to have to let go of a player they would rather have kept.
Harrison was the wrong player to cut, however.
A five-time Pro Bowler and 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Harrison was fourth in franchise history with 64 career sacks, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He gave the Steelers defense so much of its identity. The Steelers defense is less intimidating without Harrison filling the No. 92 jersey.
When asked last summer how well he thought his surgically repaired neck would hold up in a game, Peyton Manning said he wasn’t worried but that he wasn’t exactly inviting Harrison to come and get him in the 2012 season opener.