Steelers: Harrison brings run presence, little else
In what is likely the biggest move of the week, the Steelers have resigned former star James Harrison to a one-year deal at a measly (by NFL standards) $600,000. The temporary loss of second-year outside linebacker Jarvis Jones fueled this signing, as Pittsburgh will need a Harrison to be the third man in their outside linebacker rotation with Jason Worilds and Arthur Moats.
Steeler fans will be understandably excited, but what level of play should we expect from the 36-year-old outside linebacker? In Cincinnati, Harrison was cast somewhat out of position as a 4-3 outside linebacker, though it was a hybrid role that saw him rush the passer on 63% of his passing plays. Not at his most productive as a pass rusher (a 10.4 Pass Rushing Productivity was towards the bottom of his position group) he was still a force in the run game.
Familiarity with Dick LeBeau’s system means Harrison will be able to step right in and play, something most midseason free agent signings can’t do. Even his last season in Pittsburgh saw him make a positive contribution (+4.9), so it’s not out of the question that the aging Harrison has a little gas left in the tank.