Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

James Harrison: Steelers bad-mouthed me on way out because they were hurt

Ryan Hannable
January 30, 2018 - 1:05 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Things did not end very well for James Harrison in Pittsburgh.

After spending 14 seasons with the franchise, he was released at the end of the season after playing in just five games when he was promised he would play 20-25 percent of the snaps. The Patriots signed him when he cleared waivers and then played in Week 17 as well as the two playoff games.

The Steelers players blasted Harrison on the way out, with some saying he ruined his legacy with the organization, which included two Super Bowls.

Speaking at Super Bowl LII Opening Night, Harrison addressed his former teammates and what they said.

“They were talking from emotions. They hurt," he said. "You’re not surprised when someone is talking from the emotions of being hurt.”

Part of why he didn't play much was so younger players could get the chance to play, but Harrison believes both could have happened.

“That is something you’d have to ask them," Harrison said. "I felt like they could have, but they didn’t.”

Harrison, 39, also repeated what he told ESPN's Mike Reiss last week that he would like to play one or two more years. He also said he wouldn't mind a second year in New England.

“If that’s what it happens to be, then great," he said. "If not, then not. Like I said before, this is God’s plan. It’s not me. I am just sitting back and enjoying the ride. If that is the plan for me to be here, or not be here, or even not to play another year.”

Harrison has played an important role on the Patriots defense in setting the edge in his three games with his new team. This will likely be a big key in Super Bowl LII against the Eagles.