On Friday the Bengals officially announced the signing of free agent linebacker James Harrison to a two year deal. This signing was significant for a few reasons. Not only is Harrison a complete bad ass when it comes to defense he is a veteran that can help lead this young team.
Cincinnati needed an experienced linebacker to play along side Rey Maualuaga and Vontaze Burfict who turned out to be a steal in the unrestriced free agent market last season. Harrison is a twelve year veteran who has played in three super bowls, winning two of them as well as numerous playoff games. That experience that he brings to the team can’t be matched.
Harrison is an all out player when he plays, never taking a play off and always trying to get in on the tackle is the way this guy plays. He has had some injuries over the last few seasons but at 34 (almost 35) what can you expect? Along with this type of play he is often criticized for dirty play. He has been suspended for hits before as well, not to mention being fined over 10 times in the last 4 years.
The Bengals are known for taking a chance on players that other teams would consider a risk. There is a reason that the Bengals were the only team to show interest in Harrison. The Ravens did at first but instead signed a younger player in Elvis Dumervil. Now Harrison joins a long list of Bengal experiments, good news is they have been pretty good at turning players around.
When the Bengals first home game rolls around they will face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night. That will be Harrison’s first game against his former team. Look for Harrison to try to get a shot at Big Ben.