2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bengals sign former Steelers LB James Harrison

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-23 13:35

CINCINNATI (AP) - James Harrison is bringing a healed body and his old No. 92 with him down the Ohio River. Next goal: Get a Bengals ring to go with all that Steelers bling.

The former Pittsburgh linebacker signed a two-year contract Tuesday, completing the deal he agreed to four days earlier. He's already got his uniform No. 92 reserved - defensive end Jamaal Anderson agreed to give it up - and his plans set. He'll continue to live in football-crazed Pittsburgh while trying to get the rival Bengals deep into the playoffs.

He's not sure how that's going to feel.

``I wouldn't say it feels strange,'' Harrison said Tuesday on a conference call from Arizona. ``I guess when that time comes, I'll have a better understanding or feeling of exactly what it will be then. I'm just happy to be able to continue playing.''

The five-time Pro Bowl player had to find a new team when he couldn't agree on a restructured contract with the Steelers, who needed to get under the salary cap. The 2008 Defensive Player of the Year wound up going downriver to play for an AFC North rival, one that knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoff chase in a head-to-head game last December at Heinz Field.

``There was no significance in staying in the AFC North,'' Harrison said. ``My thing was I wanted to play with a team that was competitive and had a chance of winning a Super Bowl. I felt like (defending champion) Baltimore and Cincinnati were those teams.

``The second thing I wanted was to stay close to home. I currently live in Pittsburgh and that's where I'm going to reside. I really didn't want to have to go farther away than I had to.''

The 34-year-old linebacker said he left the Steelers with no hard feelings. He realized once negotiations started that the sides weren't going to reach a deal that satisfied Pittsburgh's plans to get under the salary cap.

``I don't have a chip on my shoulder against the Steelers,'' Harrison said. ``I don't hate the Steelers. All the things they're saying, that the media is blowing it up to be ... am I disappointed? Yeah, I'm disappointed. But when the negotiations first started, I basically knew the situation was going to be what it was going to be.

``I wish them the best, except for when we play. And I'm assuming they wish me the same, except when we play them.''

It won't be long. The Bengals will play their first home game against the Steelers on a Monday night next season, providing a national stage for the linebacker's reunion with his former team.

The Bengals have gone to two Super Bowls and lost both to San Francisco. They haven't won a playoff game since 1990. Cincinnati made the playoffs each of the last two seasons as a wild card, but lost its opening postseason game to Houston both times.

The defense ranked sixth in the NFL in yards allowed last season and returns most of the unit intact. Linebacker was a main area of concern.

``With James, that was a big addition to us,'' coach Marvin Lewis said on Tuesday. ``It kind of revved us from where we were a year ago, a step up from where we were a year ago in an area where I hoped to try to improve in some way or another. So we were able to do that.''

Asked what he thinks is the missing piece to the Bengals, Harrison thought for a few seconds.

``I don't think that it's a piece,'' he said. ``It's more consistency. I'll leave it at that.''

Harrison said he's been working out in Arizona and feels healthier than he has in the past few years. He missed time in training camp and the first three games last season with a knee injury, but finished with six sacks - tied for the team lead. The Steelers finished No. 1 in defense for the fourth time since Harrison became a starter in their 3-4 alignment.

Harrison helped the Steelers win the Super Bowl in 2006 and another in 2009 by returning Kurt Warner's pass 100 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half of a 27-23 victory.

The Bengals were impressed when he visited Cincinnati for a workout.

``He came in here and had a great visit and kind of bared his soul on things to us,'' Lewis said. ``I think it showed really the kind of person he was for us. That was great. (He) worked on the field for us, which not a lot of guys at this point in his career would be willing to do that.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

Leonard HankersonDec 20 03:12p

The Washington Redskins have declared CB Chibuikem Okoro, LB Gabe Miller, DL Jason Hatcher, OG Josh LeRibeus, LB Keenan Robinson, WR Leonard Hankerson inactive for Week 16.

Roy HeluDec 20 03:02p

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu (toe) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Peyton ManningDec 19 07:42p

Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was officially limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, but he threw more than he did than the day prior, [ More ]

Frank GoreDec 19 05:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) was limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, and is questionable for Week 16.

Keenan AllenDec 19 04:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and WR Keenan Allen (shoulder, ankle) have been ruled out for Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Cam NewtonDec 19 04:12p

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) has yet to officially be cleared to play in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Ron Rivera [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice all week but is questionable for Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Peyton ManningDec 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was back to a full practice Friday, Dec. 19, after being limited Thursday, Dec. 18. Manning made several strong throws in the portion open to the media.

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Friday, Dec. 19, and RTV6's Mike Chappell is convinced that Hilton will not play in Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

C.J. SpillerDec 19 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) has been added to the active roster and is probable for Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders.

Cam NewtonDec 19 12:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is listed as probable for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.

Blake BortlesDec 19 12:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) completed only 13 passes for 115 yards in the win over the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, but he didn't show any signs [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group