Kansas City Chiefs should make a play for James Harrison

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 28: James Harrison
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 28: James Harrison /

While the Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to move on from franchise icon James Harrison, he could be the ideal addition for the Chiefs for several reasons.

James Harrison is now a free agent. That might take a minute to sink in given that he’s been the sack artist for the Pittsburgh Steelers heralded defense for quite some time, but it is clear for those in Steel City that he’s on his last legs. Clearly for Mike Tomlin’s team, they’ve decided it’s time to move on.

Every franchise faces such questions. Even this offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to do the same with franchise running back Jamaal Charles. This year might also be the last for popular players like linebacker Derrick Johnson, pass rusher Tamba Hali or quarterback Alex Smith. Such difficult decisions are a part of the job, but it doesn’t mean the player is no longer able to be productive. Sometimes a change of scenery becomes a serious boost for the short-term.

This is why the addition of Harrison for the Chiefs could prove to be a serious boon at a key point for the team. A few reasons why this works well for K.C. if Harrison was up for it:

  • The Chiefs defense lost their emotional heart and soul during Week 1 when Eric Berry tore his Achilles late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots. While he’s been a sideline leader and locker room presence, Harrison could immediately become an emotionally-charged help on the field, helping to provide that sort of passion, energy, voice and experience. Speaking of…
  • These Chiefs are also still relatively young and inexperienced. There aren’t exactly a lot of players here in K.C. with Super Bowl experience. To get to the AFC Championship game would be a serious run for the Chiefs, and having an experienced player like Harrison who has been there and back again (to put things in Tolkien terms) would be a serious asset.
  • While Harrison only has a single sack this year and has had issues staying healthy, he still has the burst and experience to get after the quarterback even at age 39. The Chiefs could use some serious help at the position. For example, Justin Houston is questionable this week, which could mean the Chiefs start Frank Zombo and Tanoh Kpassagnon or a limited Tamba Hali. Dee Ford is out for the year. Kpass is not ready. Zombo is a nice back-up but is not feared by any lineman in the league.
  • Harrison would also bring serious knowledge of how to play against his former team, who is likely to be one of the key hurdles for the Chiefs to move on in the playoffs. Imagine watching Harrison suit up against Ben Roethlisberger in the playoffs? That would be exciting as a match-up in itself.

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Harrison might be a shell of his former self, but if he’s still up for one more postseason run, you’d better believe the Chiefs should at least do their homework and see if he can provide any sort of boost in the aforementioned ways. If so, it could make things a lot more exciting down the stretch.