During his tenure in Pittsburgh, James Harrison was viewed with very mixed emotions from everyone in the league. He had his fair share of “dirty” plays as a Steeler, but his motor on the field and the incredible plays that he has made earned him the label of one of the AFC’s best outside linebackers.
On Monday, the Pittsburgh organization announced that the team would not retain Harrison and let him test the free-agent market.
When the news broke, it was hard to ignore the possibility of the five-time pro bowler landing right back in the AFC North. The Browns and the Ravens have both been named as options for Harrison, and his agent made it clear that the linebacker was interested in joining the Ravens. With Paul Kruger signing with Cleveland, the Ravens have been the biggest name linked to Harrison.
There’s certainly reason to believe that Ozzie Newsome would be interested in bringing Harrison in. Sure, he’s a ten-year veteran and may only have about two or three years left in him, but he could be snagged for a fairly cheap price.
Harrison has five pro bowl appearances, he is a 4x all-pro, and of course a 2-time Super Bowl champion with the Steelers.
It would be pretty scary to have Harrison, T-Sizzle, and Haloti Ngata on the same line come the opener of the 2013 season. Don’t forget about Courtney Upshaw and now Chris Canty either. Because Harrison is a bit older, he certainly isn’t an every-down player. Upshaw would get a very good amount of workload for a year or two. Also, experience under one of the NFL’s best would be instrumental for the young Upshaw’s future.
Money is certainly an issue, but with Paul Kruger signing with Cleveland, Dannell Ellerbe going to Miami, and Anquan Boldin leaving, some extra money is there and Ozzie has been known to make a big splash when he has it.
Harrison was always known as an easy person to hate because he was a Steeler, but would you welcome him with open arms if he wanted to come to Baltimore?