After a brief flirtation this week with the Cardinals, James Harrison decided not to sign with the club, and in fact won’t be joining any NFL team this season. The longtime Steelers linebacker officially announced his retirement from the NFL this morning, via Facebook. Here’s Harrison’s statement, in full:
“I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today. My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career. My love for the game isn’t strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school. I am retiring as a man who is truly grateful for all of his blessings. I am sincerely thankful to the people who have supported me over the years, first and foremost my family, the Rooney family and my Steeler family, also Mr. Brown, the Bengals organization and fans, and last but FAR from least, Steeler Nation. Thank you.”
While Harrison played the 2013 season with the Bengals, most of his NFL career was spent in Pittsburgh, where he earned spots in five consecutive Pro Bowls from 2007-11. The 36-year-old logged 146 career games, including 105 starts, racking up 647 overall tackles and 66 sacks. His best season probably came in 2008, when he recorded 101 tackles, 16 sacks, and seven forced fumbles for the Steelers, earning a first-team All-Pro nod.
Harrison retires from the NFL having won two Super Bowls with the Steelers.