Harrison calls it quits after 15-year career
Linebacker went from undrafted to ’08 Defensive POY.
James Harrison is taking another shot at retirement, and this time it’s likely to stick for the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker. The five-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro and 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year announced Monday he is stepping away from the game following a 15-year career that saw him go from undrafted free agent to one of the most feared players in the league.
Harrison, 39, played nearly his entire career with the Steelers, collecting 80.5 of his 84.5 career sacks while wearing black and gold, a franchise record. He spent the 2013 season in Cincinnati and signed with New England late last season, appearing in all three playoff games for the Patriots, including their Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia. This is the second time Harrison has called it quits. He retired in September 2014 only to be lured back to the Steelers.
Harrison compensated for his relative lack of height — he’s listed at 6-feet tall — with remarkable strength and a relentlessness that made him one of the best edge rushers in the league and a vital part of a team that reached the Super Bowl three times from 2005-10, winning it twice. His 100-yard interception return for a TD on the final play of the first half of the 2009 Super Bowl is one of the most iconic in NFL history.
Browns: Wide receiver Josh Gordon will make $790,000 next season after signing with the club as an exclusive rights free agent.
Gordon returned to the Browns and played five games last season following an NFL suspension and a lengthy rehab stint. Gordon, 27, was expected to report for the team’s offseason workout program Monday.
Gordon has cost himself multimillion-dollar contracts because of his addictions to drugs and alcohol. He led the league with 1,646 yards receiving in 2012 and was an All-Pro in 2013, but he’s played just 10 games over the past four seasons. The Browns are hoping he can stay clean and pair with newly signed Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry. After being reinstated last season, Gordon caught 18 passes for 335 yards and one TD.
Broncos: C.J. Anderson is leaving Denver with a million memories, a Super Bowl ring and no hard feelings. “It’s business, I understand it,” Anderson said Monday after he was released by Denver. Possible landing spots include Miami, where Dolphins coach Adam Gase offered him a four-year, $18 million deal i n 2016 that Denver matched, and New England, where Patriots coach Bill Belichick is also a big fan. Anderson has just 683 career carries and is coming off his best season, in which he played all 16 games for the first time and ran for a career-best 1,007 yards.
Seahawks: Re-signed backup quarterback Austin Davis and signed free agent linebacker Paul Dawson, while exclusive rights free agents center Joey Hunt, defensive end Branden Jackson and long snapper Tyler Ott signed their tenders.
Vikings: Signed linebacker Eric Kendricks to a multiyear contract extension. He led the team in tackles in each of his first three seasons.
Bills: Signed free agent receiver Jeremy Kerley to a one-year contract.
Bears: Signed receiver Bennie Fowler to a one-year contract. Fowler caught 56 passes for 698 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons with Denver.
Redskins: Re-signed offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe.
Dolphins: Signed tight end Gavin Escobar.
49ers: LB Reuben Foster won’t participate in the offseason program while he tends to legal matters related to domestic violence charges.
Helmets: The NFL for the first time is prohibiting certain helmets from being worn by players. In notifying teams Monday, the league sought to have players stop using 10 helmet varieties. Some, particularly those manufactured by Rawlings, no longer are made. Others were found to be inferior to many of the 34 helmets the NFL and players’ union examined.
Previously, NFL players could choose any helmet as long as it passed certification standards. Six of the substandard helmets are prohibited immediately, while the other four may be worn by players who used them in 2017 but not by new players.
Asurveyofplayersrevealed at least 98 percent used one or more of the 34 helmet models tested. Data also showed concussions were up in the NFL in 2017 to 291.
James Harrison, 39, played nearly his entire career with the Steelers, collecting 80.5 of his 84.5 career sacks while wearing black and gold, a franchise record.