WEDNESDAY: Harrison said he’ll need six weeks of training to determine if his body will enable him to return next season, tweets Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He’ll begin training in Scottsdale in mid-March and the six-week timeline will take him up to the start of OTAs (Twitter link via Dulac).
“I’m going to start the process of making sure that I can get back to where I need to be so I’m able to give 100 percent, Harrison stated. “If I get to that point and I’m feeling good, there’s probably a good chance – no, not probably – I will play” (Twitter links via Dulac).
TUESDAY, 5:50pm: Hold the phone. Despite his agent’s comments, Harrison told his business and PR managers that he’s not certain he will return in 2016, Dulac tweets.
5:08pm: Steelers veteran James Harrison will celebrate his 38th birthday in May but that doesn’t mean that he’ll be retired come September. On Tuesday, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert indicated that he anticipates the linebacker will want to continue playing (Twitter link via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). Colbert added that he doesn’t “see any reason” why he wouldn’t want to have the veteran linebacker back in the fold.
With that in mind, Harrison’s representation says that the plan is for the veteran to join the Steelers in camp this summer.
“I guess we will be there,” Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise, told Kaboly. “This is not a announcement or anything like that, but we are under contract and everything is going forward.”
When asked in late January, Harrison was on the fence about his plans. Now, all signs are pointing to Harrison returning to Pittsburgh for at least one more season. Of course, as Harrison’s agent cautioned, nothing will be for certain until Harrison personally addresses his NFL future.
Harrison is due a $1.25MM base salary in 2016. This past season, Harrison appeared in 15 games, racking up 40 total tackles, 5.0 sacks, 1 interception, two forced fumbles, and four pass deflections. Now that Charles Woodson has retired, Harrison stands as the NFL’s oldest active defensive player.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.