After losing linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower to injuries, the Pats’ front seven needed some help. To resolve this, the Patriots signed veteran LB James Harrison after he was released by the Steelers on Saturday. This is an interesting move as Harrison left his long time team and joined their rivals. But new reports are saying that Harrison wanted off the Steelers. The Steelers continued to say that they needed him, but they did not use him much, and he was released.
Harrison spent his first 14 seasons in Pittsburgh, collecting 80.5 sacks and 7 interceptions during his time with the team. Does Harrison have anything left in the tank, or is there a reason that the Steelers benched him?
Part of me thinks he’ll be unmotivated after wanting to leave his last team. But another part of me thinks that he will be motivated to get revenge on his former team. If he performs, he will be compared to other late season veteran signings made by the Pats, like RB Steven Jackson (2015) and WR Michael Floyd (2016).
Although there is some risk, I think this is a good signing. I expect Harrison to make an impact going into the playoffs, especially if we face his former team. I predict that Harrison will be a leader on the defense, and not only will he perform, but he will also help the younger players in the front seven. Most of the time, Bill Belichick’s decisions have paid off, so I trust him here. Let’s just hope he learns the Pats playbook quickly and doesn’t get into any trouble with the referees like some new Pats players have.