James Harrison rumors: Linebacker visits with New England Patriots

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08: James Harrison
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08: James Harrison /

In the first bit of news since James Harrison was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the linebacker is said to be visiting with the Patriots on Tuesday.

The moment that the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the surprising news that they were going to release linebacker James Harrison to make room on the active roster for Marcus Gilbert, rumors began to circulate about potential interest among the other playoff powers, especially in the AFC. Those rumors seem to be coming to fruition, at least for one team as Harrison is reportedly visiting with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots on Tuesday.

We’ve made our case here for why the Kansas City Chiefs should also check in on Harrison, and rumors have included the Baltimore Ravens as well. However, it might be difficult to compete with the Patriots who have a number of Super Bowl trophies at which they can point for proof positive that Harrison’s likely goal of another championship is best pursued in Foxborough.

Harrison initially passed through waivers without a single NFL team claiming him, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate actual interest levels. Harrison is now a free agent and teams are able to negotiate with him from scratch—including the Steelers once again, if they wanted to bring him back after making further roster moves.

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Harrison has only 1 sack this season, but he’s averaged 5 sacks per season in part-time work over the last three years. His playoff experience would be a help for most franchises and he would help with depth for many franchises dealing with injuries and attrition at the position.

Harrison has 82.5 career sacks over 15 NFL seasons.