Posluszny also calls it quits after 11 seasons
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.
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...