As free agency gets set to begin Tuesday afternoon, there is no shortage of NFL free agency rumors that pertains to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Of course given the Steelers salary cap issues, most of the rumors will pertain to where ex-Steelers are likely to sign and not of who they could potentially sign.
Given the fact that James Harrison is no longer in a Steelers uniform (released by the team on Saturday), there is a better than good chance that Harrison won’t be a stranger to the Steelers in the upcoming years, in fact they may have to see him twice a season.
After his release, Harrison said that he wanted to play another three or four years, and staying inside the AFC North could offer him significant motivation to show his former team that he still has some gas left in the tank and the Cleveland Browns appear to be his main target.
“Playing for the Browns would bring me back home,” Harrison said through his agent, Bill Parise. “It would be great.”
As of now, Parise has not talked to the Browns about his client, but the idea of Harrison playing in Cleveland is intriguing for multiple reasons.
First of all, the five-time Pro-Bowler has ties to the state of Ohio as he is a product of Coventry High School and Kent State University.
Then there are Harrison’s notable ties to the Browns’ new regime.
Browns’ defensive coordinator Ray Horton coached the Steelers’ defensive backs from 2004-10, and he needs linebackers for the 3-4 system he’ll bring to Cleveland. Browns new owner Jimmy Haslam is certainly familiar with Harrison, too, because he bought a minority stake in the Steelers in 2008.
Harrison to Cleveland would be interesting for another reason as well, being that he is public enemy No. 1 to Browns fans.
In 2010, Harrison gave Browns wide receivers Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi concussions with blows to the head in the same game. Then in 2011, Harrison gave Browns quarterback Colt McCoy a concussion with a vicious helmet-to-facemask hit.
There’s no given that Harrison ends up in the division, but in the chance that he does, the Steelers offensive line is certainly going to have their hands full dealing with a motivated player out to prove the Steelers wrong.