The Pittsburgh Steelers allowed James Harrison to walk, and center Maurkice Pouncey is tearing into the former All-Pro for walking.
Right before Christmas — two days to be exact — the Steelers made the surprising decision to cut outside linebacker James Harrison. Harrison, 39, has been one of the franchise’s great players, holding the team record of sacks with 80.5.
After his release and subsequent clearing of waivers, Harrison visited the New England Patriots on Dec. 26 and signed with the club later that day. Apparently, Steelers Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey isn’t having any of this situation, complaining about Harrison’s choice.
Pouncey has plenty to say, but who knows what is true and what isn’t. The Steelers didn’t start Harrison in any games this season, failing to give him 100 snaps while rookie T.J. Watt took over. Watt has been terrific, making Harrison a spare part. Apparently, the Steelers believe that Harrison forced his way out of town, something that makes sense considering his playing time.
However, the Patriots were smart to pick up the veteran. New England has absolutely no pass rush to speak of after watching Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long walk this offseason, coupled with the season-ending injuries to Derek Rivers and Dont’a Hightower.
If New England and Pittsburgh end up meeting in the AFC Championship Game, Harrison is going to be incredibly motivated to shut his former teammates up. The Patriots beat the Steelers in that same round a year ago, making the thought of a rematch even better.