Steelers, Harrison agree to two-year deal |

Steelers, Harrison agree to two-year deal

Joe Rutter
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers linebacker James Harrison leaves the field after losing to the Patriots in the AFC championship game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers linebacker James Harrison walks to the sideline during the third quarter Sunday, Nov. 20. 2016, in Cleveland.

INDIANAPOLIS — James Harrison will have the chance to keep sacking quarterbacks until he’s 40.

Harrison, the Steelers’ career sacks leader, signed a two-year contract with the Steelers on Wednesday. ESPN reported the contract is worth $3.5 million, which means Harrison will receive more than the NFL veteran minimum of $1 million per season.

Harrison recently completed a two-year, $2.75 million deal.

Harrison, 38, had five sacks last season, giving him 81.5 for his career (79.5 with the Steelers). He moved into the starting lineup in midseason and started seven games.

Scheduled to be a free agent on March 8, Harrison wanted to stay with the Steelers beyond the 2017 season.

Asked whether it was important for Harrison to have a second year added to the contract, agent Bill Parise said, “It was. It was important for James to be able to add that.”

Parise said the deal was negotiated over the past couple of weeks.

“Our target was to move as well as we could and get this done quickly,” he said.

A former NFL defensive player of the year, Harrison retired briefly in 2014 but has accumulated 15.5 sacks in the three years since he rejoined the Steelers. He is penciled in to start next season at outside linebacker along with Bud Dupree.

The oldest player to record a sack is Clay Matthews, who had 6.5 with the Atlanta Falcons in 1996 when he was 40. Former Buffalo Bills great Bruce Smith had nine sacks at age 39 and five at 40.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.