Steel­ers James Har­ri­son retires - again

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS -

PITTS­BURGH » 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 on In­sta­gram early 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, posted a col­lage of pic­tures of his two sons and noted he’s “missed way too much for way too long ... and I’m done.”

Har­ri­son 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 briefly in Sep- tem­ber 2014 only to be lured back to the Steel­ers. He re­mained pro­duc­tive into his late 30s, reg­is­ter­ing at least five sacks from 2014-16. Not bad for a player who went un­drafted af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Kent State and spent the early por­tion of his ca­reer pri­mar­ily on spe­cial teams.

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 touch­down on the fi­nal play of the first half of the 2009 Su­per Bowl is one of the most iconic in NFL his­tory.

Har­ri­son’s phys­i­cal play at times ran him into trouble with the league of­fice. He was fined four times dur­ing the 2010 sea­son alone for what the NFL con­sid­ered il­le­gal or un­nec­es­sary hits. Har­ri­son lashed out at com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell, call­ing him “a crook” in a 2011 mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle.

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