James Harrison & the Pittsburgh Steelers May Have Contract Squabble on Their Hands
John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is speculating that the Steelers want to rework linebacker James Harrison's contract to free up room from their salary cap. Bill Parise, Harrison's agent, isn't willing to talk about a lower salary than the $6.57 Million that he is set to earn in the 2013 season. If a deal isn't reworked, the piece speculates that the Steelers will part ways with the former Kent State star and Akron native.
A logical landing spot for the aging, although still at times productive linebacker, would be the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are switching the a 3-4 defensive scheme this season and Harrison's attacking style of defense would be an ideal fit. Jimmy Haslam, the new Browns owner who formerly owned a stake in the Steelers, has already been linked to bringing in wide receiver Mike Wallace from the Steel City. Harrison's age and recent spats of injuries (knee & back) work against him along with his reputation as being a "loose canon" both on and off he field. That being said, he is a hometown kid growing up in Akron and would bring veteran leadership while also filling a need and would bring instant name recognition while also stoking the fires of a dying Steelers-Browns rivalry that has become lopsided in the last decade.
The gamble would likely about $7 Million this year and $7.5 in 2014. The Browns have the salary cap space to work out a deal if they feel its a worth taking if the Steelers and Harrison, do in fact, part ways this offseason. Colt McCoy and Browns fans remember how devastating a player Harrison can be.