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Old 02-12-2013, 04:26 AM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

Steelers linebacker James Harrison is willing to restructure his contract. Smart man.

Harrison won't take a pay cut, however, and that stubborn streak could make him an ex-Steeler.

Harrison is scheduled to earn $6.57 million in 2013 and $7.57 million in '14. That's a big salary-cap number for a pass-rusher who turns 35 in May, is coming off knee surgery a year ago and is two years removed from two back surgeries.

Harrison may be banged up, but it's shortsighted to label him old. He's better than most of the young linebackers on the roster, who can't beat him out. He's still good when he isn't playing every down, but the Steelers aren't paying him all that money to be a part-time player.

Which brings us back where we started. Are the Steelers better off with Harrison on their payroll, even in a more limited role, at a fraction of his salary? Yes, they are. To believe otherwise is delusional.

Who on the Steelers' roster is better than Harrison at right outside linebacker? Jason Worilds? He's 10 years younger than Harrison, but an even bigger injury risk. Chris Carter? No, not the Cris Carter who just made the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a wide receiver.

“I don't think anybody would argue at the end of the season that James Harrison was the best linebacker the Steelers had,” said agent Bill Parise, who represents Harrison.

Parise is paid handsomely to say nice things about his client. Harrison wasn't the Steelers best linebacker in 2012 — Lawrence Timmons was. But Harrison was productive. In 13 games, he recorded 70 tackles and six sacks.

What concerns the Steelers are the three games Harrison missed while recovering from knee surgery. When he returned, Harrison wasn't the same explosive force from four years ago, and the Steelers must decide whether to pay Harrison his full salary this year and next, restructure his contract to create a lower cap number, or release him.

So let's take emotion out of what the Steelers should do regarding Harrison. The front office has to make a cold-blooded business decision, just as it did with Pro Bowl standouts Alan Faneca and Joey Porter.

The Steelers should restructure Harrison's contract or ask him to take a pay cut. They can't afford to pay him $6.5 million next season, so find a number both sides can agree upon.

Working in Harrison's favor is the Steelers' glaring lack of depth. The Steelers replaced Porter with Harrison and Faneca with Chris Kemoeatu. Their roster isn't deep anymore.

Will keeping Harrison on the payroll make the Steelers a playoff team again? They were 8-8 with him in the lineup in 2012. Although Harrison was slowed by injuries, can the Steelers be absolutely certain he hasn't played his best football?

Harrison is worth the gamble. The Steelers need Harrison because they aren't better without him. Letting him go would be a mistake.

Football being a business, I have the perfect landing spot for Harrison if things don't work out with the Steelers: Cleveland.

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, a former Steelers' minority owner, would consider it a major coup to sign Harrison, who was raised in nearby Akron. You better believe Haslam wouldn't ask Harrison to take a pay cut.

“There's no list (of prospective teams),” Parise said. “We're not talking about it. We've certainly not even gone down that road. James loves Pittsburgh. I think the reason people are talking about James is because he's a higher salary guy.”

At the same time, Parise said the Steelers made no assurances they won't release Harrison.

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw was released last week, a year after scoring the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLVI. Bradshaw led the Giants in rushing each of the last three years, but he struggled with foot and ankle injuries and was scheduled to earn $4.25 million in 2013.

“Could it happen? It certainly could. The NFL can cut any player at any time,” Parise said. “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.”

Personally, I think the Steelers could draft a linebacker in the first round to replace Harrison, but their future is now. It's cheaper to keep him.

Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/johnharri...#ixzz2KgAhba1e
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

IMO, for whatever that's worth, Worilds WILL play ROLB before we restructure Harrison.A restructure is not going happen as we would need to add a year to his contract, and suffer the dead money cap hit when he can't finish it out. The only way Debo stays will be if he agrees to a big paycut. Based on the article, that's sounding like a snowballs chance in h*ll .
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

According to John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is willing to restructure his contract, but he is not interested in taking a pay cut.

Harrison, who is scheduled to earn a $6.57 million base salary, and count $10.035 million against the cap next season, is under contract through the 2014 season and his agent Bill Parise still considers the soon-to-be 35 year-old linebacker a bargain for the Steelers at that rate.

"Can we help the Steelers by restructuring James' contract? We're certainly willing to do that, Parise told the paper. "Do we need to take less money? I don't think so. Personally, I think he's a bargain."

If the Steelers were to do a simple restructure and turn $5.57 million of the $6.57 million base salary that Harrison is scheduled to earn in 2013 into a signing bonus, it would only lower his cap number by $2.785 million in 2013 if another year wasn't added onto the contract. Doing that would also increase potential dead money in 2014 by $2.785 million more.

Terminating the contract of Harrison outright would clear $5.105 million in cap space in 2013 with no repercussions of dead money in 2014.

You can certainly see the dilemma that the Steelers are now faced with and it is one that I predicted could happen dating back to last May. They simply can't keep Harrison at his current base salary and a simple restructure really is not worth the savings it would create in my opinion. The cap is expected to remain flat in 2014 and throwing $2.785 million in additional dead money in that year would be foolish.

The only way that I saw Harrison potentially staying in 2013 would be if he agreed to a base salary cut of $3 million or more, but it appears that Parise and Harrison are not interested in that option.

“I don't think anybody would argue at the end of the season that James Harrison was the best linebacker the Steelers had,” Parise said.

While the above quote might certainly be true, betting that Harrison has another 10 sack, 16 game season in him is very risky. He has missed 8 games the last two seasons due to injuries and the Steelers just can't take that chance.

The Steelers need to be cap compliant in less than a month, and unless Harrison and Parise change their tune, it appears that a divorce is unavoidable right now.


http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/02...y-cut-to-stay/


Restructure of his contract would only save 2 mil of the cap this year but add more dead money in the future. Cutting him saves 5mil with no dead money in the future.

Although he's great and I love the guy, it seems like a easier decision to me than people make it out to be. Cut him and start worlids.

Very similar to the Joey porter situation.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

Agreed in full. Man what a player......Without a doubt, one of my altime favorites of any era.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

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Agreed in full. Man what a player......Without a doubt, one of my altime favorites of any era.
Yeah when you look at the production he has had since he began starting full-time it is amazing. It is especially amazing considering the impact he has had in his 30s- when most players are on the down side of their careers. It is too bad he never started opposite Joey Porter. That would have been a nightmare for offenses.

3 out of 6 of his seasons as a starter have resulted in 8 FF+Ints. That is unreal for any player let alone a linebacker.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

Id be really surprised if Harrison was on the roster at the start of the season.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

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Yeah when you look at the production he has had since he began starting full-time it is amazing. It is especially amazing considering the impact he has had in his 30s- when most players are on the down side of their careers. It is too bad he never started opposite Joey Porter. That would have been a nightmare for offenses.

3 out of 6 of his seasons as a starter have resulted in 8 FF+Ints. That is unreal for any player let alone a linebacker.
Harrison played sparingly in his early years so he had much less abuse to his body. It's a good thing, because he fell apart the last couple of years.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

he is gone!Harrison will end up where all steelers go. Welcome the Arizonia Harrison.

The money we save by cutting him will cover are rookie class
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

Who is going to take Harrisons spot then? Worilds can't stay healthy as a backup let alone a starter. The only way Harrison gets cut is if we draft a OLB in round one or two. We will need a tight end early as well so it depywho falls to us
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harris: Cheaper to keep Steelers’ Harrison

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Who is going to take Harrisons spot then? Worilds can't stay healthy as a backup let alone a starter. The only way Harrison gets cut is if we draft a OLB in round one or two. We will need a tight end early as well so it depywho falls to us
Maybe we'll draft Dion Jordan and Jarvis Jones cause there the only players that I could see starting for us day 1, but i believe Worilds will be very good/great player if he stays healthy and stays in shape.

Wonder if they'll move Woodley to ROLB?
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