The Pittsburgh Steelers signed linebacker James Harrison on Tuesday and we now have the financials of the deal thanks to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Harrison signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum and included in that was a $65,000 signing bonus. The contract qualifies for the minimum salary benefit, and when you subtract out the three games that he wasn’t on the roster for, he will only count $534,411 against the 2014 salary cap as long as he stays on the roster.
#Steelers signed James Harrison for vet minimum salary benefit, minus 3 games, plus $65K bonus. Comes to $851,470. Counts $534,411.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 24, 2014
Knowing these specifics really makes the signing of Harrison a no-lose proposition on the part of the Steelers. If he plays well, the Steelers got a hell of a bargain. If he doesn’t, he can be released with only $65,000 in dead money to account for.
Harrison admitted on Wednesday that it could take him a few weeks to get himself into football shape.
“It’s a big difference,” said Harrison, according to steelers.com. “You are talking about running around with pads on. You are hitting guys, throwing guys around, it’s extra exertion. You are tired faster. Being in normal condition shape, running around is fine, but football condition is a lot different. It will be a few weeks, two or three weeks.”
The Steelers will start Arthur Moats at right outside linebacker Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Harrison will likely dress as the primary outside linebacker backup. Harrison’s role moving forward will depend on how well Moats plays and how quickly he can get himself reacquainted with the Steelers defense.