James Harrison Jobless; Roger Goodell Thinks He'll Be Fine(d)
James Harrison -- the meanest man in football, the player responsible for arguably the greatest single play in Super Bowl history, the guy synonymous with a four letter word beginning with 'F' -- is unemployed.
The Pittsburgh Steelers released the former Defensive Player of the Year, citing salary cap issues -- not this -- as the reason. Over the previous seven days, the Steelers and Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, had been trying to agree on a haircut to the Pro Bowl linebacker's 2013 salary of $6.57million. No middle ground could be found, leaving the potential Hall of Famer to join the dole line.
As impressive as Harrison's résumé is, his days as a player may be over: he is 35, has a gimpy knee, and traded away his football equipment for a pair of guns. As with all athletes reaching menopause, the time is nigh for Number 92 to consider job options beyond the playing field.
What about NFL HQ?
Such a professional marriage makes perfect sense. Roger Goodell knows Harrison's résumé by heart. Harrison's career contributions to the league coffers helped pay for its new digs. And, to be perfectly frank, a program jewel like 'Heads Up' could do with a James Harrison coming on board. What kid learning the game is going to stare at his shoelaces when the threat of this happening is ever-present?
Of course, the ex-Steeler may want to start more modestly in the organization and work his way up. As 'Manager of Video Operations and Technology - Officiating', Harrison could begin to re-shape his image and help develop the next generation of replacement referees. The position does require a Bachelor's degree, though.
Whatever role James Harrison ends up performing for Roger Goodell and the NFL, history suggests he'll do just fine.