New England Patriots sign former Steelers pass rusher James Harrison

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 30: James Harrison
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 30: James Harrison /

The New England Patriots have a new pass rush threat in the form of former foe James Harrison, just in time for a tuneup and the playoffs.

Well, well, well, the New England Patriots have signed another discarded veteran. Linebacker/defensive end James Harrison was reportedly spotted at Logan Airport on Tuesday and he was at Gillette Stadium for a visit later in the day.

Harrison was released last week, but he’s quickly found a new home.

It’s been reported that the former Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher is signing with the New England Patriots.

Field Yates of ESPN first reported the news.

Of course, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are no strangers to signing veterans late in the season, and James Harrison is just the latest. He certainly won’t be the last.

The Patriots and Steelers are the favorites to meet in the AFC Championship Game in late January, and now it looks the team may have some insight into Pittsburgh’s coaching and schemes. The Patriots always seem to find these types of players.

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In 2017, Harrison appeared in just 5 games for Pittsburgh, with 1 sack and 3 tackles. Injuries though have made pass rushers and defensive linemen a huge need for the New England Patriots. Harrison has had some great seasons, and in his career, he has 82.5 sacks and 33 forced fumbles. He had been a member of the Steelers organization for 14 years, since 2002. Of course, that means he’s been a huge part of the Patriots-Steelers rivalry and now he will have the chance to change courses and help bring another Super Bowl title to New England. The irony is that a 6th title would bring the Patriots to even with the Steelers all-time at 6 total Super Bowl wins.

New England will likely sign Harrison to just a one-year deal, meaning he is just a rental for the rest of the season. Still, the Patriots will benefit from his addition with a need for big bodies up front. Don’t be surprised if he plays very few snaps, but is gunning for the quarterback on every single play that he’s on the field.

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The Patriots will face the New York Jets on Sunday to end the regular season before they get things going in the playoffs. It shouldn’t be a surprise if Harrison gets on the field in week 17 just to get his feet wet and get used to the Patriots defensive system.