Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Harrison has no reason to hate the Steelers
By Jamison Hensley
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Larry Foote used to say James Harrison played like he was mad at the world because he had been cut so many times.
When Harrison signed this week with the Cincinnati Bengals -- a month after getting released by the Steelers -- many thought he would direct his anger twice a year at the Black and Gold. No so, says Harrison.
"I don't have a chip on my shoulder against the Steelers," Harrison told Cincinnati reporters in a conference call. "I don't hate the Steelers. All the things they're saying, that the media is blowing it up to be ... am I disappointed? Yeah, I'm disappointed. But when the negotiations first started, I basically knew the situation was going to be what it was going to be.
"I wish them the best, except for when we play. And I'm assuming they wish me the same, except when we play them."
Harrison is wrong in his assertion that the media is "blowing up" his anger toward the Steelers. It was actually his new teammate Carlos Dunlap who said Harrison hated the Steelers, not the media.
But Harrison is right that he shouldn't hold a grudge against Pittsburgh. If Harrison is angry, he should only be angry at himself. The Steelers were reportedly asking him to take a 30 percent pay cut from his $6.57 million salary this season because of their salary-cap problems. He refused to play in Pittsburgh for $4.6 million this season, and although details from his two-year deal with the Bengals haven't been released, it's safe to assume he is playing for less than that in Cincinnati this year.
The Steelers wanted Harrison back, albeit at a discounted price. But it's likely more than what Harrison got from the Bengals. A poor business decision, and not the Steelers, is the real reason why Harrison is playing for the Bengals.