Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Bye-Bye, Mr. Harrison
This free agency season has been a...confusing and frustrating one for members of the AFC North, the Ravens and Steelers in particular. I refuse - REFUSE - to discuss the changes Ravens' General Manager Ozzie Newsome has been making, as I've FINALLY gotten my blood pressure down to normal levels. I'll just say that if I go bald before my wedding because of Ravens personnel-related stress, Oz will have to hire more security.
Okay. So. As you can see from the board above, James Harrison has been cut by the Steelers. As you can see from the screenshot of his Twitter feed, James doesn't talk as...Hulk-esque as Shawn and I make him. Although he COULD have a ghost-writer, so who knows. Rumors are spreading that the Steelers and Harrison may reunite if they can come to an agreement about his salary, but there have also been rumors (which I HOPE TO GOD aren't true) that Ozzie has spoken with him and his agent.
Frankly, Harrison going to the Ravens is a HORRIBLE personnel move, in my opinion. I know that so many players say "Oh, we're enemies on the field, but off the field we don't hate each other, blah blah blah," but James is a dirty player who's injured our players before and has shown no remorse for it. I HIGHLY doubt that the locker room atmosphere wouldn't be tense (to put it mildly). I think James should retire, as he's 35 and has been banged up a lot the last few years. Shawn thinks that another team should sign him as a "two-down, pass-rush specialist." "He can cover, he can stop the run, but the wear and tear might just be too much for a 35-year-old." But will James take a position like that (not a starter)? And will he do it for less money than he thinks he deserves?
A lot of quality veterans and (in our minds) crucial guys from both teams have been traded/cut so far in free agency. Ravens fans are told from birth, "In Oz we trust," but as I told someone on Facebook earlier today, Ozzie Newsome is not a great and powerful wizard who can see through time and make infallible decisions. This may be the year he falls from his emerald tower.