Regardless of who he plays for, he'll be one of Chadman's more favourite recent Steelers. Doesn't mean Chadman wants to see him go medieval on the Steelers.
James Harrison is the one player of all the current players that from a personal perspective if I were the GM I would do everything to retain his services until he sees fit to retire. When I think about the Steelers of the 70s as a kid and the attitude that Lambert gave to the game and Steelers, his work ethic, the 100% effort every stinkin play and the great plays that went along with those qualities, I see James Harrison.
His work ethic and disposition remind me of Lambert, his splash plays remind me of Lambert and his love of the game that has been good to him are beyond reproach in my opinion. I would do everything possible to keep him a Steeler until he says he's had enough, he's the Lambert of this decade. I'm going to miss his "FU" attitude towards Goodell and his passion to hit hard and make the offense pay physically and mentally for having him make a tackle. I really hope it isn't this year, I want to see what's left in the tank. I believe there's a lot more left than we are giving him credit. I need to see with my own eyes that his days of being dominant are done.
Harrison rehabbed the injury while playing and got stronger game by game, if you're falling apart physically that doesn't happen. I'm going to miss me some James Harrison some day (hopefully, not 2013), not looking forward to seeing another player wearing #92.
So after the Baltimore game we won...In the next 3 must win games...Harrison had 10 TT-1 Sack-1 FF. This is when he was healthy and made all these splash plays. "He was in pass coverage!" Hmm.... 0 PD & 0 INT. I watch the games. I watch everygame at least twice. First time as fan and the other times to look at players. I had to look before & after plays to make sure Harrison was on the field. Woodley had a bad year. He will get a chance to rebound. Woodley is also 6 years younger than Harrison.
Harrison put up 1 year over 10.5 sacks and it was in 2008. Might be a little unrealistic to think he will play 16 games and get 10-12 sacks at 35.
The biggest thorn to this whole debate on your side...You mentioned. 6 mil a year. Harrison's cap hit for 2013 is over 10 mil. His vet min is $840,000. His bonuses for 2013 is 3.5 mil. So the absolute min his contract COULD be worth is 4.3 mil....Which he will not play for. The 3.5 mil is money already in his pocket. Is Harrison going to play for $52,500 a game? Even at you 6 mil number would be a base of 2.5 mil. To obtain that you would create 5.5 mil of dead money next year if you release him or a 2014 salary of 13.5 mil. Rooney isn't going to write a lump sum check for 4.5 million to cut a guy after this year. There just isn't any good way around this if he won't take a pay cut.
Put yourself in Rooney's shoes:
You walk away now and pay 0 additional dollars or you pay 6.5 million for a 35 year old?
Doing this will more than likely keep the Steelers from retaining Lewis for the future.
This will also keep a soon to be 25 year old 2nd round pick (In his last year of his rookie deal) off the field that you spent 3.6 mil on that may give you the same production.
I think it is simple. I'm NOT paying 6.5 mil to keep a 35 year old around for 1 year to lose a young starting CB for the next 5 years or find out if I have his replacement at OLB for the next 8-10 years.
JPN, based on what I saw this year, there really isn't a future on this current roster on defense or at least a future that looks bright.
Worilds? - Maybe, but didn't do anything to really say, "I can't wait to see him full time."
Carter? - Definitely not
Robinson? - Definitely not
Woodley? - Heck over the past two years I can't say that his future is still as bright as it was three years ago
Sylvester? - Definitely not
Hood/Heyward? - Same as Worilds, maybe
McClendon? - Couldn't win the job from Casey, so a "maybe" at best
T'amu? - nope, more off the field news than on the field
Golden/Will Allen? - Not really, do you want them as our starting safety tandem?
Lewis/Cortez Allen? - The only ones that really look to be on the rise and there is a strong possibility that Lewis won't be a Steeler
So, I don't really see the future on defense, maybe its there and I have no idea how to evaluate these guys, but I didn't see anything other than Lewis and Cortez Allen that said, man the future is really bright at that position.
IMO, the Steelers need to find a way to work some guys in this year and keep some vets and then complete the transition in 2014. Cleaning house this year may put the Steelers at 3rd or 4th in the division for more than 1 year, IMO, unless, tremendous strides are made by a handful of young players and I just don't see it.