Green Bay Packers
Could the Green Bay Packers Swipe James Harrison from Pittsburgh Steelers?
Saturday, 16 February 2013 23:22 | Written by Chris Carter
Free agency usually isn't the forte of the Green Bay Packers management. Yet after another rough year on defense, especially with the pass rush, maybe a small move wouldn't hurt. Is James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers a good fit?
Harrison could join Rashard Mendenhall in Steelers exodus
Pittsburgh is no different from any other franchise in the NFL. Sooner or later money will get in the way of progress. Now sitting at $14 million over the projected 2013 salary cap, the Steelers have some serious work ahead of them just to make sure they come in under it, let along create room for new players. That means veterans on the roster are in danger. One name on their list of late is linebacker James Harrison. The former Defensive Players of the Year who helped Pittsburgh to their last two Super Bowl titles is due $6.5 million this coming season. At age 35 injuries have begun to catch up to him. He's missed eight games in two seasons and has only 15 sacks in that span. Many fans still hold out hope the two sides can find a middle ground but Harrison has seemed stubborn about any change to his contract. If this pattern holds he could join teammate Rashard Mendenhall in free agency by March.
Clay Matthews could need help soon with pending loss of Charles Woodson
Long-term deals won't come flying at Harrison but that doesn't mean he won't draw interest. The Packers still need loads of help on defense despite the often crafty scheming of coordinator Dom Capers. Like the Steelers, Green Bay has salary cap problems both in the present and future. Three of their biggest stars are due new contracts including Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews. This imminent problem brings up a difficult decision for GM Ted Thompson. Their former Defensive Player of the Year, corner Charles Woodson is 36 and will command a lot of money against the cap in 2013. With stud rookie Casey Heyward flourishing when he was injured during the regular season, the Packers could call for his release. Most of that money will go towards the draft and building new deals for the younger stars but Thompson isn't afraid to delve into free agency for a veteran bargain if he can find one. Harrison is a perfect fit. His championship experience, pass rush ability and knowledge of the 3-4 defense make him a solid compliment to Matthews.
The Pittsburgh Steelers never enjoy letting great players go. Sadly business is business. James Harrison may have to finish his career somewhere else. The Green Bay Packers will offer him the best shot at one more ring.