Steelers say deal with Harrison reachable
Team president Art Rooney II said Thursday he is "optimistic" the Steelers and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison will reach an agreement on a long-term contract.
Harrison, who set a Steelers single-season record with 16 sacks in 2008 and returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII, is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $1.2 million in 2009.
Signing the Pro Bowl outside linebacker to a multi-year deal is one of the Steelers' top offseason priorities.
Bill Parise, Harrison's agent, said he and the Steelers have talked regularly, but no breakthrough has been made.
"Those things, they do tend to drag when you're trying to extend somebody," Rooney II said.
Harrison has been taking part in the Steelers' offseason workouts, which started this week.
The Steelers did not host any free agents or draft prospects yesterday, and two weeks into free agency they have yet to sign a player from another team.
The Steelers have been busy locking up their own players. They re-signed three of their starters on the offensive line -- tackles Max Starks and Willie Colon and guard Chris Kemoeatu -- as well as reserve tackle Trai Essex.
Starks signed a one-year, $8.45 million deal at the end of February after the Steelers used a franchise tag on him. Rooney II said the Steelers, who do not have a lot of room under the salary cap, now hope to sign Starks to a long-term contract.
When asked to evaluate how the Steelers have done so far during the free-agent period, Rooney II said: "I think the fact that we'll have (the offensive line) intact for this year is positive, so we're pleased about that."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers’ road show boggles the mind
- Wildcat formation is pulled back out of Steelers’ bag of tricks
- Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin dismisses clock run-off near end of Chargers game
- Tomlin on Bell’s late TD: ‘We were going to go for it’
- Bell’s last-second TD lifts Steelers over Chargers
- Four Downs: Steelers’ Cockrell finds ways to get noticed
- Steelers notebook: Shazier will miss 3rd consecutive game
- Steelers defense displays resiliency in victory over Chargers
- Playing on West Coast often gets the best of Steelers