Depending on how things play out, Sunday could very well wind up being the Pittsburgh Steelers last game of the 2015 season at Heinz Field. Should that indeed wind up being the case, there’s a distinct possibility that it could be the last time veteran outside linebacker James Harrison plays in front of Steelers fans in Pittsburgh.
While Harrison is under contract for the 2016 season, he will be 38 in May. In a recent interview with steelers.com, the linebacker wasn’t ready to tip his hand as to what the future holds for him.
“I don’t know, really, what I’m sure of,” Harrison said, according to Mike Prisuta. “I think I have a year left (on his contract), I think I signed a two-year deal. I’ll do whatever it is that my body tells me to do at the end of the year.”
Despite him being the oldest player on the Steelers roster, Harrison has played quite extensively this season as he’s averaging 43 snaps a game so far this year in the 12 games that he’s played in. He’s only missed one game and that was back in Week 10, which was one week before the team’s bye week.
Harrison is currently second on the team in sacks this season having totaled 5 quarterback take-downs so far in 2015 and he needs just 3 more to set a new career Steelers franchise record which is currently owned by Jason Gildon. Sunday against the Denver Broncos, he will be attempting to add to those numbers when he gets after quarterback Brock Osweiler, who has already been sacked 17 times in the 5 games that he has played in this season.
Overall, it sounds like Harrison is happy with what he’s accomplished so far this season, but he definitely knows that there’s room for improvement in his game just the same.
“I think I’m doing alright,” Harrison said. “It could be better, everything could be better.”
How Harrison finishes in 2015 will probably play a big part in his and the Steelers decision making process as it relates to whether or not he’ll be back in 2016. He’s only scheduled to make $1.25 million next season, however, and that’s a very small price to pay for an experienced edge rusher that can still get after the quarterback and play the run well. In other words, there’s not much risk involved if he wants to play a 14th season. The question is will he want to.