James Harrison was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday (March 9). The release of Harrison by the Steelers was an obvious move by the team to cut payroll, with this decision likely to save the team cap space for both the 2013 and 2014 NFL seasons. According to a report from ESPN, Harrison had two years left on his contract, with $6.57 million owed to him next season and then $7.6 million the following year.
This was part of Harrison's big $51-million extension and the Steelers' front office saw a way to get out from under the contract in order to make several other moves this offseason. By parting ways with Harrison, the team was then able to tender four contract offers to restricted free agents on the roster. Those players are running back Jonathan Dwyer, running back Isaac Redman, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, and defensive tackle Steve McLendon.
It is likely that James Harrison will overcome this release and sign with a new team, with the possibility even there that he could return to the Pittsburgh Steelers if he were willing to give a big discount on his salary. The most likely scenario, though, is that his days in Pittsburgh have come to an end and that he will sign as a free agent with another franchise at some point this offseason.
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