It was reported earlier in the week that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bill Parise, the agent for outside linebacker James Harrison, were in discussions with respect to a resolution toward the salary cap impact that the former All-Pro will have in 2013.
The Steelers would like Harrison to take a straight pay cut in order to reduce his cap hit, as nose tackle Casey Hampton did last season, while Harrison and his agent would like to take an alternative measure.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, those talks have gone nowhere and are currently at an impasse. He adds that this stall in the negotiating process increases the likelihood that the Steelers will release the soon to be 35 year old linebacker, saying that a likely deadline would be this coming Tuesday.
Tuesday at 4 PM is the official beginning of the new league year. On this day, free agency officially opens. In addition, this is the day that teams must be in compliance with the salary cap. The Steelers, though currently under the cap, have other moves that they must make, such as signing their restricted free agents to tenders, before that deadline.
Parise did not comment on the negotiations other than to say "We absolutely want to do this, we absolutely want to be in Pittsburgh".
Harrison missed the first three games of the 2012 season while he recovered from a knee injury, and it was widely observed that his play continued to improve throughout the season as his knee continued to get healthier, which has many within the organization believing that he can still be productive for another season.
However, Harrison is scheduled to make $6.57 million in the 2013 season. Releasing him would save the team over $5 million. Should the Steelers opt to do that, it is likely that Jason Worilds, a former second round pick, would take over at his position. In three starts last season, Worilds managed five sacks, which was one behind Harrison’s team-leading six.
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