James Harrison could make sense for Patriots in niche role


Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is signing with the New England Patriots, according to ESPN's Field Yates. So their visit Tuesday with outside linebacker James Harrison is hardly a surprise and could simply be due diligence. Harrison entered free agency upon clearing waivers Monday.

Trying to even imagine Harrison in a Patriots jersey is borderline impossible. Needing some defensive help before the playoffs, it would make very much sense for Bill Belichick and company to want to add a veteran presence like Harrison.

With the release, of course, everyone started to speculate where he could wind up next, and one of the popular options making the rounds was the New England Patriots.

Harrison is the Steelers' all-time leader in sacks (80.5), but he lost his starting job this season as the Steelers' youth movement took over - including T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. So, maybe he'll be fresh and bolster the Patriots' pass rush come January.

It wouldn't be the first time a castoff joined the Patriots and had a turnaround season. Harrison has had some great seasons, and in his career, he has 82.5 sacks and 33 forced fumbles. Chances are that if the Pats make it to the AFC title game, they're going to be staring back at Pittsburgh. He only played 40 snaps this season and had been on the field for one game since Week 8.