Three days after the team with which he shone for years just dropped him, linebacker James Harrison signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots on Tuesday.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers star posted a photo of himself along with Tom Brady, the 40-year-old quarterback of the Patriots, in the team’s clubhouse.
Next to the image, Harrison, 39, stressed that he finally has “an older partner” than him.
The Steelers, who have already been crowned in the North Division of the American Conference, cut the relationship with Harrison, five times elected to the Pro Bowl and voted in 2008 as the Defensive Player of the NFL on Saturday. Pittsburgh was looking to open space on its payroll for right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who is back after purging a suspension for breaking anti-doping rules.
“We make decisions when we feel they give us the best chance of winning,” said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday, when asked why the team did not drop another player. “We needed the people we keep. We needed to activate Marcus Gilbert. In truth, there is nothing more than that. ”
Tomlin had said that Harrison’s departure reflected “simply life in football” American. That statement came on Monday, after Pittsburgh crushed 34-6 to Houston to make sure to rest in the first round of the postseason.
In order to open a vacancy on his payroll for Harrison, the Pats severed the relationship with Trevor Reilly.
Harrison, the Steelers’ historic leader in sacks, amassed 80 and a half during his 14 seasons with the team. Throughout his career, he has 82 and a half captures.
He retired briefly in September 2014, after a season for oblivion in Cincinnati. However, he returned to the Steelers when injuries left the position of linebacker uncovered.
He achieved at least five sacks each season, between 2014 and 2016, and signed an agreement for two seasons in the second quarter, with what he would have continued in Pittsburgh until his 40th birthday.
But his participation fell significantly in this season, in which he has achieved only one capture. He was active in just five games, despite not being injured. The Steelers relied more on two outside linebackers, Bud Dupree and rookie TJ Watt.
The Patriots have lacked variants in the defensive end and outside linebacker positions throughout the season.
New England, which was crowned in the East of the American for the ninth consecutive season, can secure the first place in the conference if it defeats the Jets weekend or if the Steelers fall as hosts of Cleveland, a team that has not won the entire campaign.