Harrison's tenure with Steelers could be coming to end
By Staff and Wire Reports
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013, 6:27 p.m.
The Steelers might be ready to see if there is life beyond James Harrison.
With the NFL free agent signing period set to begin Tuesday, the Steelers and Harrison have been unable to work out a deal that would keep the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker in Pittsburgh but at a reduced cost.
Bill Parise, Harrison's agent, didn't want to get into specifics Friday, but shortly after talking to Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, he said, “It's not going good.”
The Steelers do not comment on contract negotiations.
The Steelers, who are only several million dollars below the salary cap, could be asking Harrison to take a substantial reduction from his scheduled salaries of $6.57 million in 2013 and $7.575 million in 2014 — the final two seasons of a $51.75 million, six-year contract.
Players nearing the end of their careers — Harrison will be 35 next season — typically renegotiate the final years of a such a contract.
“I know where we are, but I don't think it's appropriate to say anything yet,” Parise said.
Parise expects the situation to be resolved shortly. He said Harrison wants to stay with the Steelers but is prepared to move on if necessary.
The question for Harrison is whether a team would give him a two-year contract at his age.
Cutting Harrison — even if it frees up more than $5 million of salary cap space in 2013 — would be risky for the Steelers given that Jason Worilds never has been more than a part-time player, and Chris Carter did not play well during Harrison's absence early last season.
Despite injuries, Harrison had 70 tackles and six sacks last season and graded out as the NFL's 10th-best outside linebacker in Pro Football Focus' rankings.
While teams cannot sign free agents until 4 p.m. Tuesday, a newly created three-day window, which starts Saturday, allows teams to talk with agents in advance of the signing period. No signing can be announced until the opening of free agency if a deal is reached.
Steelers talk with Foster
The Steelers had contract discussions with Ramon Foster's agent, Joel Segal, on Thursday and could make the unrestricted free agent offensive lineman an offer after the organization gets a better idea of their finances, a source with knowledge of the meeting said.
However, an offer may come too late and under market value. Arizona, Chicago and Tennessee have shown interest in the 27-year-old guard.
Dolphins re-sign Hartline
Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline signed a five-year deal Friday for nearly $31 million to remain with the Miami, his agent said. The contract includes $12.5 million guaranteed.
The team also re-signed backup quarterback Matt Moore.
Cardinals release Wilson
The Cardinals released Adrian Wilson on Friday, bringing an end to the hard-hitting, five-time Pro Bowl strong safety's 12 seasons with the team.
Wilson, who had been the team's longest-tenured player, took a pay cut to stay with the Cardinals before last season.
Wilson, one of six NFL players with 25 interceptions and 25 sacks, made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and every year from 2008-2011. He had 27 interceptions and 25½ sacks.
Around the league
Former Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell has admitted to his role in a tax-fraud scheme. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. ... The Panthers released starting cornerback Chris Gamble in a move that will get them under this year's salary cap. ... The Ravens have terminated the contract of guard Bobbie Williams, who played in all four playoff games for the Super Bowl champions.
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