Steelers sign James Harrison

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The Steelers have signed linebacker James Harrrison to a new contract that will pay him $51.175 million over the next six years.

Harrison, the NFL's 2008 defensive player of the year, will receive $20 million in bonus money.

An official announcement will be made Tuesday at a news conference.

Harrison would have been going into the final year of a contract.

"We are quite happy, as you can imagine," Harrison's Beaver County-based agent, Bill Parise said. "We are happy that James will remain in Pittsburgh and this contract is certainly representative of a great marriage between a great franchise and a great football player."

Harrison, who will turn 31 on May 4, has had quite a spike in his career since signing with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He was cut a few times by the Steelers, briefly signed by the Baltimore Ravens and spent time in NFL Europe before settling in with the Steelers, becoming a regular contributor toward the end of the 2004 season.

In Super Bowl XLIII in February, Harrison turned in the longest play in Super Bowl history, returning an interception 100 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half in what would become a 27-23 victory against the Cardinals.

"The play in the Super Bowl just let other people, who might not see it all the time, realize what James Harrison has been doing all along since getting his chance," Parise said.


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