Negotiations between Steelers, Harrison continue

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Negotiations between the Steelers and the agent for James Harrison continue, but neither side has found anything to their liking on a new deal, increasing the chances that the star outside linebacker could be released soon.

Harrison, the NFL defensive player of the year in 2008 and a five-time Pro Bowler, has two years left on a contract that is scheduled to pay him a $6.57 million salary this season.

Bill Parise, Harrison's agent and a Beaver County resident, declined comment other than to say, "We absolutely want to do this, we absolutely want to be in Pittsburgh."

The Steelers want him to take a pay cut, a source familiar with the negotiations said, but the sides cannot agree on just how that would work in a new deal. Harrison also has a salary for 2014 at $7,575,000. His salaries are not guaranteed.

The likely deadline for a decision on a new contract would be Tuesday because the NFL calendar year begins at 4 p.m. that day, and the Steelers must be in salary-cap compliance then, when free agency also starts.

Although hampered by August knee surgery that kept him out of the first three games last season, Harrison started at his right outside linebacker spot the remaining 13 games and played better as the season went on and his knee grew stronger.

He finished with six sacks, tying for the team lead.

Harrison, who turns 34 in two months, has led the team or tied for the team lead in sacks in five of the six years since 2007, when he replaced Joey Porter as a starter.

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For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at Ed Bouchette: and Twitter @EdBouchette.


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