With two seasons left on his contract, the Pittsburgh Steelers released outside linebacker James Harrison. A part of two Super Bowl championship teams in Pittsburgh, with five Pro Bowls, three All-Pro teams and an AP Defensive Player of the Year award, Harrison leaves with quite a resume.
And he can take the resume and the baggage that comes with him to some other team if I had anything to say about it.
An Akron native. A Coventry High School graduate. A Kent State Golden Flash.
He’s a player that has said he won’t let the new rules change how he plays the game. Which is to say he will continue to target the head, no matter how many fines or suspensions or number of times he gets called to the principal’s office. A principal that Harrison has gone on record to describe as such.
“If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it,” Harrison told the magazine. “I hate him and will never respect him.” His other descriptions of the commissioner include an anti-gay slur, “stupid,” “puppet” and “dictator.” [ESPN]
It doesn’t end there. Harrison isn’t just a dirty player according to Browns fans. In an ESPN player poll, Harrison received 67.5% of the vote when asked who is the most violent and dangerous player (emphasis mine). Second place went to Ray Lewis with 10%.
The Browns need an OLB. One that has experience with Ray Horton would be fantastic. But there is no way I want James Harrison to be the veteran leader of the Browns.
I realize that there is a segment of fans that would want the eleven hardest hitters they can get on defense. I understand the reasoning behind that. I’m not even trying to convince you otherwise, as those exercises are usually fruitless. I am giving you my reasons for not wanting Harrison on this team.
Remember those games last season when our best defensive back was suspended? Haden’s absence could have cost the Browns a win or two. We simply didn’t have enough depth to the chart to win without him. You don’t get mad at a player for suffering an injury and having to miss games. That happens. But when the player is purposely engaged in an activity that could keep him off the field, we get upset about that.
Imagine how you would feel as a Browns fan if Haden was suspended again next season for something else that he took? There would be outrage. “How could he be so selfish and stupid?” Now I ask you, how is it that different when James Harrison says “I won’t change how I play?”
The latest discussion surrounding Harrison is that he would like to play for the Ravens or the Eagles. I would certainly rather see him on the Eagles so that he doesn’t play against my favorite team twice a season (I’m sure Colt McCoy, Mohammad Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs feel the same).