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Steelers notebook: Former LB Harrison meets with Bengals

| Thursday, April 11, 2013, 3:45 p.m.
Tribune-Review
The Steelers released five-time Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison after being unable to convince one of their longtime stars to take a substantial pay cut.

James Harrison, still looking for a job a month after being released by the Steelers, visited with AFC North rival Cincinnati on Thursday.

The visit was Harrison's second with another Steelers division opponent. He met with Baltimore on the day the Ravens signed linebacker Elvis Dumervil away from the Broncos, a deal that ended their interest in Harrison.

Harrison was released by the Steelers on March 9 after the sides could not agree on a pay cut. Harrison was due to make $6.57 million in 2013, the next-to-last year of his contract.

Harrison took a gamble in that it is uncertain whether he will make on the open market what he could have made by staying with the Steelers, even after taking a pay cut like that accepted by nose tackle Casey Hampton last season.

“It's a process, and it's a process that's ongoing,” said Bill Parise, Harrison's agent.

Harrison, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, had a down season statistically in 2012 after undergoing knee surgery in August. The outside linebacker missed all of training camp and the first three games of the season but still had six sacks and a pair of forced fumbles for the NFL's top-ranked defense. He has 64 career sacks, including 16 during his Player of the Year season in 2008.

The Bengals also are interested in former Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who is coming off foot surgery. Bradshaw visited with the Steelers, who have a need for a feature back, and he is expected to visit with them again.

Sale of ex-owner shares complete

The Steelers announced that the franchise's existing stockholders have purchased most of the shares owned by former minority owner Jimmy Haslam.

Scott and Russ Swank, originally of Lower Burrell, bought the rest.

Haslam purchased the Cleveland Browns in October.

“We appreciate the continued confidence of our ownership group involving this purchase of stock owned by Jimmy Haslam, and we welcome Scott and Russ Swank to our ownership group,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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