James Harrison
The New England Patriots have signed Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
(Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The New England Patriots have signed former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Adam Schefter reported the news on Twitter today.

Harrison was waived by the Steelers on the 23rd and cleared waivers on Monday to become a free agent. He spent 14 years of his NFL career with the Steelers. The Steelers released Harrison to make room for tackle Marcus Gilbert, who was returning from suspension.

Harrison is the Steelers all-time sack leader (80.5 sacks) and will look to have an immediate impact on the Patriots. He will help secure the defensive side of the ball, giving the Patriots a nice edge as the playoffs approach.

Harrison celebrated the signing by posting on Instagram.

Finally… A teammate that’s older than me!?? @tombrady

A post shared by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that it was the winning reputation of the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick’s reputation as a coach and among players convinced him to sign with the Patriots. Harrison also had offers from other teams, such as the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh’s AFC North rival.

Adding Harrison will definitely bolster the Patriots defense. Trey Flowers has held down the defensive line as best as he could, and Harrison can bring him much needed help.

The pieces seem to be falling into place for the Patriots. They currently have the best record in the AFC and are considered by many to be the favorite to win the Super Bowl. Both the Steelers and Patriots sit atop the AFC, and it is possible that both teams could meet again in the AFC Championship.


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