It looked last week like linebacker James Harrison was going to join the Cincinnati Bengals. Even the Bengals players talked Monday as though it were only a matter of time before Harrison put on the striped helmet.
So, why hasn't Harrison signed yet? A source told USA Today that negotiations are "not going well." According to the report, more talks are expected and the sides haven't reached any stalemate yet. ESPN's Adam Schefter added:
Bengals and former Steelers LB James Harrison continue talking, but as one source texted, "Does not look like the numbers will work."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 16, 2013
Harrison obviously believes he has a certain value, which is why he refused to take a pay cut from the Steelers. But Harrison has to be careful because the Bengals have the leverage in these discussions.
The Steelers have closed the door on Harrison's return, and the Ravens signed Elvis Dumervil while Harrison was making his first free-agent visit. In other words, there aren't a lot of options out there for Harrison.
The Bengals don't have to overpay for Harrison because they can turn to Karlos Dansby, who visited Cincinnati last week, or take a linebacker like Georgia's Alec Ogletree or Kansas State's Arthur Brown in the first round.