The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Saturday that they have released five-time Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison.
The move was related to the salary cap more than any other factor. The team had reportedly been working lately to try to reach an agreement on a new contract deal for Harrison, but “couldn’t reach any common ground.”
Harrison was the 2008 NFL Defensive Player-of-the-Year. He will turn 35 in May. Harrison missed the first three games of the 2012 season, but gradually worked himself back to his expected status He was entering the final two years of a $51-million contract extension he had signed in 2009, and stood to make $6.57-million in 2013.
The new NFL year officially begins on Tuesday, and th Steelers are moving to work their way under the $123-million salary cap. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and linebacker Lawrence Timmons have both already agreed to have their contracts restructured.