Forget messy divorce: James Harrison remembered as Steelers great

From ESPN - April 16, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- With James Harrison announcing his second and final retirement Monday, the 39-year-old should be known for his timely playmaking and Super Bowl pedigree with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Harrison's clunky exit out of Pittsburgh in 2017 affected his standing with the team in the short term but wo not be an issue years from now. His legacy will age as well as he did.

He's the franchise's all-time sacks leader, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and the owner of one of the best defensive plays in Super Bowl history, a 100-yard interception return during a victory in Super Bowl XLIII.

In December, several teammates blasted Harrison for basically forcing his way out of town over lack of playing time. The Steelers had signed Harrison to a two-year deal as a positional hedge in case a draft pick did not develop. Well, T.J. Watt developed in a hurry, leaving Harrison in street clothes for parts of the season.

Harrison expressed displeasure in part by missing practices and sleeping through meetings. Players had no problem revealing some of Harrison's issues in 2017, with center Maurkice Pouncey saying Harrison had tarnished his Steelers legacy, a statement Pouncey softened a month later at the Pro Bowl.

But Harrison has always been a different dude. Considering how he fought his way into league prominence as an undrafted free agent who played in the World League, Harrison going out on his own terms was hardly a surprise. His short stint with the New England Patriots made the Steelers salty for a time, but he needed a job and Bill Belichick offered him one.


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