The free agent market for linebacker James Harrison has been dead but Harrison is making his first visit of the off-season, visiting the Cincinnati Bengals today, Joe Reedy reports.
Harrison previously had a visit setup with the Baltimore Ravens who were interested in him as a situational pass rusher but on the day Harrison was traveling to Baltimore the team signed star linebacker Elvis Dumervil ending their interest in Harrison which was lukewarm.
Harrison last month declined a 30% paycut from the Steelers in what looks like a catastrophic mistake by Harrison and his agent Bill Parise. The reason Harrison wouldn’t accept a paycut is due to his pride being hurt, those close to the situation say. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin pushed hard for the Steelers to keep Harrison and was a driving force to the Steelers still guaranteeing Harrison around $4.5 million in salary as they wanted to be fair to him, but when Harrison’s camp circled back to the Steelers about two weeks ago, Pittsburgh informed Harrison they have moved on.
At some point Harrison in all likelihood will find a job and Harrison hopes it’s an AFC North team as Harrison wants to “stick it to the Steelers”, a source close to Harrison says.
Agent Bill Parise declined comment when asked if he views the Bengals as being serious about Harrison. The Bengals have a need for a starting outside linebacker opposite Vontaze Burfic after Manny Lawson signed with the Buffalo Bills. If the Bengals sign Harrison, they will be getting a motivated player.