Steelers release 5-time Pro Bowler James Harrison
Heading into the final two weeks of the NFL regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing to tighten up their roster before the start of the playoffs.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Steelers have made the tough decision to part ways with former star outside linebacker James Harrison.
The #Steelers have released long-time LB James Harrison, whose playing time had diminished
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2017
The 39-year-old had seen his role with the team at right outside linebacker take a significant drop with rookie T.J. Watt assuming the starting role. In fact, he had totaled just three tackles and a sack that all came against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 22 while making an appearance in five games.
Harrison isn’t the player he once was that was one of the top defensive players in the league. He currently holds the Steelers all-time franchise record with 80.5 sacks along while earning five Pro Bowl selections, two First-Team All-Pro nods, two Second-Team All-Pro selections, and was the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 15 seasons in the league. He had latched on with Pittsburgh as an undrafted rookie in 2002 and made 107 starts in 177 career games with the team.
His departure now shifts more of the responsibility at right outside linebacker to Watt, who has quickly proven to be a valuable asset defensively for the Steelers.