Should the Lions kick the tires on another aging pass rusher?
In a rare Saturday roster transaction, the Pittsburgh Steelers waived NFL veteran edge rusher James Harrison from their roster with just two more weeks left in the season. Harrison has been in the NFL for 15 years and has spent most of his time with the Steelers, appearing in a total of 192 games with 82.5 career sacks.
Harrison signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh this offseason, but the five-time Pro Bowler was just not himself this year. He only managed to play in five games this season, earning three tackles and 1.0 sacks along the way.
A month ago the Detroit Lions decided to add a similar veteran pass rusher: Dwight Freeney. Freeney was waived by the Seahawks and the Lions were awarded him on waivers. Freeney has been very quiet in his three game appearances with Detroit and has not provided the pass rushing spark many had hoped.
So today’s Question of they Day is:
Should the Lions try to claim James Harrison?
My answer: No. No no no no no no no no no.
Harrison is an all-time great, and his intensity is unmatched by anyone in this game. But he’s done. Absolutely done. Harrison actually first retired back in 2014, and although he ended up pulling off three straight seasons of 5+ sacks after that, even those days are now far behind him.
Harrison is 39 years old and has played almost the entirety of his career in 3-4 system. Asking him to join the Lions and somehow contribute immediately for what may be only one more game of the season is reckless, stupid and a waste of money. The Lions may as well keep just anyone else in the hopes they can produce in 2018 and beyond.
I know Harrison is a big name and has one of the most storied careers for a defensive end, but that is not the Harrison that stands before you now. The man has played in a total of 40 defensive snaps this year, despite being healthy. Let’s move on.