Har­ri­son retires

Posluszny also calls it quits af­ter 11 sea­sons

The Republican Herald - - 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 Septem­ber 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.

Har­ri­son twice left the Steel­ers. He signed a deal with Cincin­nati in the spring of 2013 but played only spar­ingly, lead­ing him to re­tire in the fall of 2014. It lasted all of 18 days. He re­turned to Pitts­burgh af­ter in­juries dec­i­mated the team’s linebacker group and in his sec­ond act be­came a valu­able leader on the field and else­where, of­ten in­clud­ing team­mates in his drain­ing (and well-doc­u­mented) off­sea­son work­out reg­i­ments in Ari­zona.

Jaguars LB Posluszny ends his ca­reer

JACK­SONVILLE, Fla — Jack­sonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny for­mally and re­luc­tantly re­tired Mon­day af­ter 11 sea­sons in the league, in­clud­ing the last seven in Jack­sonville. He fin­ished his ca­reer with 1,381 tack­les, 41 pass breakups, 16 sacks, 15 in­ter­cep­tions and eight forced fum­bles.

The for­mer Penn State linebacker ex­plained his de­ci­sion in de­tail dur­ing a cer­e­mony in­side EverBank Field.

“I don’t want to do this,” said Posluszny, who en­joyed one win­ning sea­son dur­ing his time in Buf­falo and Jack­sonville.

“I don’t want to re­tire right now. I want to keep play­ing. But what was more im­por­tant for me was I didn’t want to go back on the field and be a step too slow or miss a play.”

NFL to pro­hibit use of cer­tain hel­mets

NEW YORK — The NFL for the first time is pro­hibit­ing cer­tain hel­mets from be­ing worn by play­ers.

In no­ti­fy­ing the 32 teams Mon­day, the league has sought to have play­ers stop us­ing 10 hel­met va­ri­eties. Some of those, par­tic­u­larly those man­u­fac­tured by Rawl­ings, no longer are be­ing made and don’t have sup­port from the com­pany. Oth­ers were found to as in­fe­rior to many of the 34 hel­mets the NFL and the play­ers’ union ex­am­ined.

Pre­vi­ously, NFL play­ers could choose any hel­met as long as it passed cer­ti­fi­ca­tion stan­dards.

Vik­ings sign LB Ken­dricks to ex­ten­sion

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — The Min­ne­sota Vik­ings have signed linebacker Eric Ken­dricks to a mul­ti­year con­tract ex­ten­sion.

The Vik­ings an­nounced the deal on Mon­day, the first day of off­sea­son work­outs. Ken­dricks has one year left on his rookie con­tract, af­ter be­ing drafted in the sec­ond round out of UCLA in 2015 and im­me­di­ately be­com­ing a starter on one of the top de­fenses in the NFL.

Source: Bron­cos re­lease C.J. Anderson

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion tells The As­so­ci­ated Press that run­ning back C.J. Anderson has been re­leased by the Den­ver Bron­cos.

The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the team hasn’t of­fi­cially an­nounced Anderson’s de­par­ture, which was first re­ported by the NFL Net­work.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Pitts­burgh Steel­ers out­side linebacker James Har­ri­son, cen­ter, sacks Mi­ami Dol­phins quar­ter­back Matt Moore, forc­ing a fum­ble that was re­cov­ered by the Steel­ers dur­ing an AFC Wild Card game in Pitts­burgh. Har­ri­son...

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