Next Sunday Super Bowl LII will take place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN and former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison will play in at as a member of the New England Patriots. While many believe that next weekend’s Super Bowl will ultimately be the final game of Harrison’s long career, he made it clear this past week that he intends on playing at least one more season and maybe even two.
“I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41,” Harrison said recently, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.
Harrison, who will turn 40 in May, has been a with the Patriots since the final week of the regular season following him being waived by the Steelers ahead of their Week 16 road game against the Houston Texans. In his first game with the Patriots he played 27 defensive snaps and recorded back-to-back sacks on the final two plays of the game against the New York Jets. Those 27 snaps were over half the amount of defensive snaps he played during the season with the Steelers. Oh, and Harrison also played 7 special teams snaps against the Jets which is something he hasn’t done with the Steelers for several years.
Harrison’s contract with the Patriots will expire not long after the Super Bowl has ended and thus he’ll be an unrestricted free agent once again come the start of the 2018 league year in March. Will the Patriots re-sign him? While possible, I don’t expect that to happen. If that doesn’t happen, will another team look to sign him during the early stages of free agency? I doubt it.
While Harrison would ideally like to play two more seasons, I think he’ll be lucky to play one. With that said, he already knows what he plans on doing when he retires from the NFL a second time and that’s help his oldest son start his football career.
“But at some point in time, I’m going to have to stop [playing],” he said, explaining why it’s probably two years maximum, per Reiss. “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.”
Super Bowl LII media day takes place on Monday and you can bet the members of the Pittsburgh media who are present for it will be all over Harrison. I suspect he’ll be asked to further explain his final few weeks with the Steelers and more.