James Harrison claims Steelers didn’t keep their promise to him

 

Rachel Wold, Sportsnaut | Source, MSN

Things have been somewhat tumultuous around the Pittsburgh Steelers’ camp after the surprising release of veteran linebacker James Harrison.

Clarifying how things happened on his side, Harrison had this to say about discussions on his workload for the 2017 season.

“I have to assume when they say you’re going to get 25 percent of the snaps and you get 25, safe to say things didn’t go as planned,” Harrison said, per Gerry Dulac of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“After the first week of the season, I said to them, it’s clear you want to play your younger guys and I understand, so why don’t you release me. You go on your way and I’ll go on mine. They said, ‘No, no, no, we got a role for you.”

Obviously, Harrison was not released until after the Steelers Week 16 game. Up until that point, Harrison played very limited snaps in Weeks 1, 3, 6, 7 and 14. He managed one sack and three tackles in Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Harrison said the Steelers told him “to be ready” to play “a lot” against the New England Patriots in Week 15. He was inactive in that game and shared this.

“If I didn’t play in the biggest game of the year, that told me I wouldn’t get any more snaps. So all that lip service you gave me before didn’t matter.”

It is easy to sense the frustration Harrison was experiencing. He barely had a role after being candid with the Steelers about releasing him if they preferred the younger players to him at the start of the season.

Harrison also said head coach Mike Tomlin told him that he would have to be “absolutely crazy” to let him go due to potential injuries. Per the report, five days later Harrison was released.

He will now suit up with one of the Steelers’ biggest AFC rivals

This could potentially pit Harrison up against the Steelers should both franchises compete in the AFC Championship Game next month. Talk about awkward.

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