NFC Links: Cardinals, Bears, Bucs

Following his brief retirement, James Harrison rejoined the Steelers, and the 36-year-old linebacker has been among the league’s biggest surprises this season. However, his resurgence almost didn’t happen in Pittsburgh, as the veteran was close to signing with the Cardinals. Via Peter King of

“I had a deal in Arizona,” Harrison said. “I could have gone to Arizona for $2 million guaranteed. I kept asking for more money, and I could tell they wanted me to sign. But at the end of it, I didn’t want to play anymore … if I had to be away from my kids. I was already away from my family for a year in Cincinnati, and I wasn’t going to do that to them again.

“Then the Steelers had that injury. At, like, 4:03 a.m. [Monday], Brett Keisel texted me: ‘Come back.’ Coach [Mike] Tomlin called me. But I wasn’t going to come back if it wasn’t okay with my boys. So I asked them, and they both said yes. And I signed.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes from the NFC…

  • By his standards, Brandon Marshall has had an underwhelming 2014 season so far, prompting Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune to look back at the extension the wideout signed earlier this year and wonder if the Bears would’ve been better off waiting to lock him up.
  • Some Bears reporters believe change is inevitable, especially if the team continues on their current course. Jon Greenberg of says changes will be made for next season, but the specifics may be a result of the team’s performance down the stretch. Meanwhile, Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times believes the team has “anesthetized everyone into surrender,” adding that ownership will not make any significant changes.
  • If the Buccaneers decide to draft a quarterback in next year’s draft, the team will likely have to choose between Josh McCown or Mike Glennon. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times believes Glennon could have some trade value, while McCown could be a good mentor for a young player.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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