It’s hard to know for sure whether or not Sunday’s playoff loss to the Denver Broncos was the last career game for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and after the game the veteran gave no indication as to what the future holds for him.
“What plays into my decision, a big part of it, is my kids,” Harrison said Sunday night, according to Ralph N. Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“Another big part of it is just how I feel. I’m 37 years old. I may make things look easy, but at the end of the day it’s hard. I’m older. I’ve been doing this for 13, 14 years now, so it’s not something I can easily give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to right now.”
Harrison, who is currently under contract for the 2016 season, is scheduled to earn a base salary of $1,250,000 in 2016. He’s also scheduled to turn 38 in early May. The longtime Steelers outside linebacker registered 2 sacks during the playoffs in addition to 5 more during the regular season. Additionally, he played generally well against the run during the season and logged more snaps than fellow outside linebacker Jarvis Jones did despite missing one game due to an injury.
One would think that Harrison will decide by early March whether or not he wants to play again in 2016 and while he might want to do so, the Steelers might decide that they need to move on from him. Harrison was a great mentor for all of the Steelers linebackers this past season and his work ethic is unmatched in the locker room. If indeed Sunday winds up being his last game, he certainly had a memorable career in Pittsburgh and will always be remembered as one of the greats to play the position.