Offensive tackle Ryan Harris inked a two-year, $3.9MM deal with the Steelers in free agency last March. Twelve months later, he’s retiring, according to Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
Harris, who will turn 32 on March 11, only appeared in five games and didn’t record any starts in his lone season in Pittsburgh. Despite that, he told Mike Klis of 9News that playing for the Steelers “was a dream come true.” The Steelers placed Harris on injured reserve in early October on account of a shin issue. Injuries were long problematic for Harris, who underwent three back surgeries and dealt with other ailments during his career, as Klis notes.
“It’s been a long journey,’’ Harris told Klis. “You have to overcome injuries. That’s the NFL. The injury rate is 100 percent. You have to have belief, you have to have a great surgeon, you have to have belief in yourself. You have to take the small increments, the changes in your flexibility for months. You have to take it in stride and it made me a better professional and it made me a better man.”
Prior to joining the Steelers, Harris logged a combined 110 appearances and 70 starts with the Broncos, Texans and Chiefs. The majority of his work came in Denver, which selected the ex-Notre Dame standout in the third round of the 2007 draft. Harris started in 50 of 62 appearances as a Bronco, with whom he had tenures from 2007-10 and 2015. In his second stint with the Broncos, the 6-foot-5, 299-pounder started every game and collected a Super Bowl ring.
“Everything I had been through to everything we had accomplished was phenomenal,” Harris said of Denver’s latest championship-winning team.
Continued Harris: “I’ve really worked hard to put my family in a good place for retirement. I’ve been planning for this since Day 1 in the NFL. I’m fortunate. Not that many guys get the chance to retire. This is that time.’’
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.