Has James Harrison finally gone too far? According to two highly connected individuals I spoke with in the past hour, early indications are that the Steelers are likely going to take some sort of action against Harrison, as the league pretty much won’t have a basis to take action due to free speech.
Will it be a hefty fine or a suspension?
While indicating that the Steelers will release the 33 year old linebacker is going a bit too far right now (little chance of happening), I’m told a suspension of at least one to two games from the team is a possibility.
Steelers President Art Rooney II who is the midst of the NFL Labor negotiations today, released a statement just after 12:00 p.m.
“I have not yet seen the article in Men’s Journal nor have I spoken to James Harrison about his comments. We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted once the labor situation is resolved.”
Harrison went overboard with his Goodell comments and they were out of line. That is just taking it too far. Meanwhile, his comments about his teammates were just unacceptable.
James Harrison is a type of person that the Rooney’s surely don’t relate to, most notably how he treats women and just his overall demeanor.
However, the Steelers knew Harrison was this type of person when they gave him a $51 million dollar contract in 2008.
This situation is must different than Rashard Mendenhall’s comments a few months ago about Osama Bin Laden, when people believed the Steelers might actually cut him when the lockout ends……. that was never a consideration from the Steelers.
The Steelers did not support Mendenhall’s comments by any means but they felt he was uneducated on the subject as he was 13 at the time.
It is still hard seeing the Steelers making a shocking move and cutting ties with Harrison but Harrison should keep in mind that he’s a 33 year old linebacker with back issues and a contract that gets pricey starting in 2012.
While he has a reasonable salary in 2011 ($3.66 million + $900,000 bonus at start of new year), he is due $5.315 million in 2012, $6.32 million in 2013 and $7.325 million in 2014.
He’s not a young player in his 20’s just hitting his prime who has a ton of long-term job security with the team.
In regards to his comments about Ben, I kind of feel bad for Ben in how he can never seem to earn the respect for “his play on the field” from some of his teammates.
He may not be well liked off the field but there’s no denying that he brings it every Sunday and is among the games best quarterbacks and competitors.
There continues to be a feeling around the team that there’s a few defensive stars who feel this team could succeed without Roethlisberger and Harrison appears to be one of them.
What should irk some of Harrison teammates is that they came to Harrison’s defense at every second last season, yet he throws some of them under the bus.