Steelers Players Criticize Harrison’s Exit

Late last week the Steelers made the surprising decision to cut linebacker James Harrison. The veteran went unclaimed but was quickly signed by AFC rival New England. He then let it be known he was unhappy about his playing time and asked for his release several times. James Harrison (vertical)

His Steelers teammates hit back at Harrison on Wednesday, saying it was exactly what he wanted to happen and that he went out of his way to try to get released, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

“Don’t make it look like it’s the team’s fault,” Maurkice Pouncey said. “You think the team and the organization wanted to get rid of James Harrison? Come on, now. If I wanted out, I wouldn’t let the team take the blame for it.”

According to Fowler’s source, Harrison would sleep during position meetings and snore loudly while linebacker’s coach, and Harrison’s former teammate, Joey Porter tried to teach. Another source said Harrison told teammates he was trying to get traded and would leave the facility or stadium at random times or during games when he was inactive.

With the Patriots and Steelers possibly set to meet in the AFC playoffs, some wondered if Harrison would share information with his new team. Linebacker Bud Dupree doesn’t think he will, saying, “I don’t know how many secrets about the playbook Harrison could give to [the Patriots] because I never saw him in meetings.”

Pouncey went as far to say that Harrison, who starred in Super Bowl XLIII vs. the Cardinals, “erased his own legacy” with the departure.

Though surprising to Steelers fans, the move obviously was one that was welcomed and expected by many within the organization. To say there is bad blood here would be putting it lightly.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (51)
newest oldest

51 comments on “Steelers Players Criticize Harrison’s Exit

    • ldfanatic

      Guy was devoted to black and gold. Team cuts him and you get caught in your feelings when he signs with a winning franchise? Not a good look.

      • madmanTX

        Who cares who he signed with, though isn’t this a repeat of what happened with Blount? Funny, these moves by a cheating franchise.

  1. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    LeGarrette Blount.
    Martellus Bennett.
    Kenny Britt.
    James Harrison.

    All dogged it and quit on their current team to force their release KNOWING they would have jobs with the Patriots waiting for them.

    And those are just a few names off the top of my head, not a complete list.

    But complaining about Bill Belichick tampering is like complaining about Jeffrey Dahmer jaywalking.

      • forwhomjoshbelltolls

        It’s OK Archie Bunker Jr. I know that getting drunk and making racist comments online to non-Boston based black athletes can only fill so many of your dreary All The Women In Boston Look Like John Kerry In A Dress days, so you must brag about cheating as if it’s winning.

        I don’t begrudge the Massholes.

    • Compton

      You are an idiot if you actually think that those players played bad for their teams “KNOWING” that they had a job with the Patriots. Everyone of them are or were washed up when they got released except Blount. You honestly think Bill called them or had someone call them and said play crappy and I will give you a job when you are cut. GTFO you clown! FYI Im not a Patriot fan, just a football fan with some common sense.

      • Michael Chaney

        I’m not sure if I completely agree with the statement that those guys dogged it knowing they could end up with New England, but not all of these guys were washed up. Bennett and Britt had just gotten fairly lucrative contracts in free agency, and Kenny Britt just had 1,000 yards last year (although I’m a Browns fan so it feels weird defending him).

      • forwhomjoshbelltolls

        Belichick absolutely 100% tampered with those players.

        We know that Blount did it. That the others followed his exact pattern of sudden malcontent behavior only to end up in New England spells out the rest.

        • qbass187

          That’s dumb. All those players could have been claimed by any other team. Smarten up

        • Compton

          Its pretty silly to say “absolutely 100%” when you are basing this off an assumption with zero evidence to back up what you are saying. What a clown!

    • John Murray

      You do understand the waiver system, don’t you? You do know that nobody can sign a player until he’s cleared waivers, meaning any NFL team can pick him
      up. With the exception of Bennett, none of these players had contracts that were gigantic risks relative to recent performance. Talk about grasping at straws for Patriot hating.

    • qbass187

      Whaaa what the Patriots whaaaaaaaa!!! Nothin but salty tears and sour grapes is all I see

  2. bradthebluefish

    Yeah, because I’m sure a lifelong Steeler wanted to underperform, be benched, and eventually get cut from the only team he knew. Think people!

    • bucsfan

      He did play, horribly, in Cincinnati for a year as well. Almost retired after that, but the Steelers signed him and gave him another chance.

    • qbass187

      Sad butt hurt Steelers fans/patriot haters can convince themselves of ANYTHING!

  3. Polish Hammer

    Pouncey is garbage and I can’t wait to see Harrison thump him when they meet.

  4. Michael Chaney

    I’m a Cavs fan, and I remember when they were criticized for allegedly making a mockery of the NBA’s buyout process after the trade deadline when they signed Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut (neither of those really worked out at all, but that’s a separate issue). Anyway, how come it seems like no one ever criticized the Patriots when they’ve done the same thing the past few years to add veterans like this down the stretch? (I know none of these guys are playing at the level that they were earlier in their careers, but Williams and Bogut weren’t really doing that either.)

    • yoyo137

      I think people have, just not as often. And LeBron haters are often some of the quickest people to complain about the Cavs signing a player or doing anything really. At the end of the day though, I don’t think it’s really fair to blame teams for signing players that want to play for them. It’s one of the perks of always making the playoffs, if people want to win, they’ll join your team. People will hate just to hate, but Patriots haters have been silenced enough that you’ll hear LeBron haters over them (till LeBron retires as the #1 player in history).

  5. mcase7187

    When his time comes to retirement who’s really going to care he will still always be a Steeler just like Montana will always be a 49er and Smith will always be a a cowboy stop crying about stuff you can’t control welcome to the pats hope you help us win again

  6. SlPkNtJP

    It’s hilarious that people are upset about Harrison signing with the Pats. I’m as New Yorker as it gets with that being said you should know my feelings towards any Boston team. You can’t be mad at a guy who wasn’t getting any playing time and wanted out. I’d be snoring in meetings too if you saw how much this guys lifts at the gym. Give credit when it’s due and stop crying because he went to go play for the pats. It’s all business he’s coming for heads in the AFC playoffs.

  7. ChiTownFanTilDeath

    Big Ben would be wise to remain silent until the season is over regarding his thoughts on Harrison. If the Pats & Steelers do meet, not sure how messed up he would be at the end of the day.

  8. Nobby

    Toughen up all you snowflakes. The Patriots rule and now go for Super Bowl #6 with another great player to help The GOAT.

  9. steelman

    Harrison is a Steeler legend that was cut because he forced their hand. He got his way and a new team. He already said he would not have signed if he knew he would not be playing. He was beat out by Watt and was limited on playing time. He wants to play and if it’s the patriots or whoever so be it. Thanks for the memories as a Steeler. The Steelers need to focus on the prize and not the drama of Harrison. He is gone and now move on guys!

  10. Steve

    Harrison is a Steelers legend. maybe he didn’t handle the situation as he should have. I think the teammates are upset it’s with the Patriots for obvious reasons. The man wanted to play, I doubt he went out to intentionally screw over the Steelers. I wouldn’t be too worried about him, no lose on the Steelers end. Now, if the Patriots need him, they must have some holes. I just wish they would have used him in more situations than to let him ride pine most of the year.

    • qbass187

      When your QB doesn’t know what down it is in the biggest game of the season then that’s a pretty good bet.

  11. Polish Hammer

    If it was that bad then shame on their staff and front office for not handling it better on their end and/or pulling him up and clearing the air.

  12. dvmwitt

    If he was a cancer, should have just suspended him for the season due to actions detrimental to the team, instead of losing him to the Pats.

    • yoyo137

      Either way he makes them look bad. They suspend him, he retires and talks bad about the team. They cut him, he talks bad about the team. They play him, he shows that father time is undefeated and takes snaps from TJ Watt’s development. Not sure the team is to blame here.

  13. steelerbravenation

    Harrison got no playing time for a reason he is washed up he was a great Steeler on the field but obviously in the locker room it’s a diffrent story. Joey Porter & Jason Gildon both mentored him it he sulks because he has become a liability and lost his spot to TJ.
    Was 1 of my all time favorite players but now I️ am disappointed for $59,000 he coulda signed with damn near any playoff bound team he chose the Pats because he was hating on how Tomlin didn’t give him playing time and wanted to be there in case the Steelers lose to them in the playoffs
    I am not worried bout him giving secrets Ben will exploit him all he can do is rush the passer and we got the best o-line in football Bell is gonna make him look silly

    • qbass187

      Ben can’t even keep what down straight so… any exploitation that doesn’t involve a bathroom and an unsuspecting female is pretty unlikely from that pile of dumb.

  14. sigdawg25

    What pisses me off most about J Harrison is that he didn’t go see R Shazier in the hospital. C’mon JH, that’s your teammate you disrespected.

    • Polish Hammer

      Kind of like all the Steelers disrespecting the anthem and Villanueva…come on men, that’s your teammate you disrespected.

  15. PeterDipersio

    Typical Steelers always complaining about something! The guy just wants to play! Is there anything wrong with that?

Leave a Reply