Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison announced that he will be retiring from the NFL after 15 seasons. Ian Rapoport shared the news of Harrison’s announcement.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2018
Harrison spent nearly all of his 15 seasons in the league with the Steelers. He recorded 80.5 sacks during his tenure with the Steelers, making him the franchise leader in sacks. However, the Steelers felt that Harrison’s time with the team had come to an end and released him. Harrison signed with the New England Patriots shortly after his release.
Harrison saw a lot of playing time with the Patriots. He signed and played just before the team’s final regular season game, played in the final game and throughout the playoffs, and played a total of 69 snaps in Super Bowl LII. Though he was advanced in age for the NFL, Harrison helped fill a major gap in the Patriots defense.
Harrison recently stated that he planned to play at least another year or two before retiring. However, his retirement may have something to do with letting his son play football. He is on record stating:
“I told my son [James III] he could play contact football when I stop, so I’m going to have to give it up in the near future, so he can start getting adjusted to playing. I don’t want him to wait too long.”
This is not the first time Harrison has retired. He claimed he was retiring in 2014 but later returned to the Steelers. However, it seems like this is the real deal. If it is, then Harrison will go down as a Steelers great and may have a case for him being in the NFL Hall of Fame.