Just turning 33 and coming off two back procedures, James Harrison is reaching the point in his career where outside linebacker’s usually tend to break down.
Don’t tell that to anyone in Harrison’s camp. Sources close to James Harrison indicate that the 33 year old linebacker believes he has 3 to 4 more pro bowl years left in him.
I’m told Harrison is determined to play all 6 years of his deal in Pittsburgh and at a high level.
Harrison last season showed no signs of slowing down, recording 100 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 6 forced fumbles.
In the playoffs he had 4 sacks, including a dominating 3 sack performance against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.
Harrison playing at a dominant level into his 30’s isn’t the norm for Steelers All-Pro outside linebackers but he had little wear and tear in his 20’s.
The Steelers released Former All-Pro linebacker Jason Gildon, the Pittsburgh Steelers career sacks leader at the time at age 31 in June 2004.
In March 2007, the Steelers cut ties with Joey Porter who was turning 30 that month.
Harrison is entering the third year of 6 year – $51.8 million deal that was structured and seen as a four year deal when he signed the deal.
Harrison is due $3.66 million in 2011 + $900,000 roster bonus due first day of new league year. In 2012 he is due $5.315 million, while his salary jumps to $6.32 million in 2013 and $7.325 million in 2014.
Harrison will be 36 at the end of his deal in 2014.