Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

James Harrison apparently not eyeing retirement after this season

Ryan Hannable
January 28, 2018 - 11:30 am

Patriots outside linebacker James Harrison is the oldest defensive player in the NFL at age 39, and apparently he doesn't want to stop after this year.

"I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41," Harrison told ESPN's Mike Reiss this week.

Harrison joined the Patriots for the last game of the regular season after he was released by the Steelers -- the team he had spent 14 seasons with. He had two sacks in that game against the Jets and in his three games total, he has nine tackles. His main job has been to contain the edge and he's excelled in that role.

"But at some point in time, I'm going to have to stop [playing]," Harrison added, noting it is two more years maximum. "I told my son [James III] he could play contact football when I stop, so I'm going to have to give it up in the near future, so he can start getting adjusted to playing. I don't want him to wait too long.

"He's already 10, and then he'll be playing against kids who have been doing it for 4 or 5 years, contact football, and they'll know how to take a hit and give a hit. To have a kid come into high school, or even be 14, 15 years old and have been playing since they were 10, that puts him at a disadvantage, especially just safety-wise."

Harrison signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, so he will be a free agent after the season.