The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2013 offseason over the cap and they will need to restructure the deals of some of their higher profile veteran players along with making a few tough cuts in the process in order to get under the cap. Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu are likely candidates to receive restructured deals, while it looks like James Harrison could be one of the players on the outs.
Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise, said that the 34-year-old linebacker would not be taking a pay cut and that if the Steelers decided to part ways with the five-time Pro Bowler that teams would be lining up to sign the pass rushing specialist.
“Could it happen? It certainly could. The NFL can cut any player at any time,” Parise said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Having said that, if James Harrison was released, there would be 31 NFL teams interested in him.
“Can we help the Steelers by restructuring James’ contract? We’re certainly willing to do that. Do we need to take less money? I don’t think so. Personally, I think he’s a bargain.”
Certainly the Steelers won’t view paying Harrison over $14 million for the next two years a bargain, so it is a realistic possibility that he is released from the team. Of course, Harrison is one of the best linebackers to play in Pittsburgh over the past decade, so expect the Steelers to give a restructured deal a shot.
If neither side can agree to a cheaper deal, Harrison could be in for his first splash into free agency since 2004.