James Harrison is a… New England Patriot? Yup.
The near career-long Steeler switched up sides after he was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 23. Though a hard choice, the Steelers deciding to cut ties with the five-time Pro Bowler wasn’t surprising especially with the emergence of T.J. Watt. He signed a two-year contract right before the 2017 season began but he barely saw any playing time. It’s a smart move from Belichick and the Patriots’ front office to sign a veteran Steeler who can likely give his new team a bit of insight into Pittsburgh’s inner workings. Why does that make sense? Because the two teams will probably meet in the playoffs and any extra juice can help.
The Pats likely aren’t expecting much from Harrison with him being 39-years-old, but he will bolster a very weak pass rush for New England— a problem they’ve had since Dont’a Hightower tore his pectoral muscle.
Steeler fans are rightfully pissed because the Pats are their longtime enemy and Harrison has shown such loyalty to Steeler Nation for about ten years, but the terrible towel-waving fans can’t be too mad because the writing was on the wall as the team he showed loyalty to let him go. Harrison has already won two Super Bowls and joining the Pats makes sense if he wants to win another. He’s been in the league since ’02, and as the Steelers’ all-time sack leader he’s got some experience when it comes to getting to the quarterback.
Harrison was never highly recruited in his professional or collegiate career. He was a walk-on at Kent State and has some academic problems during his freshman year and went undrafted in the 2002 NFL Draft due to his height.
But hey, look at him now— en route to another Super Bowl.