Steelers vs. Bengals: Harrison says he holds no grudges
September 13, 2013 8:04 AM
In this Aug. 17 photo, Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker James Harrison, left, pushes against Tennessee Titans tackle Michael Roos in the first half of a preseason game.
James Harrison will face his former team when the Steelers play the Bengals Monday night
By Ray Fittipaldo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
CINCINNATI -- James Harrison, who won two Super Bowls with the Steelers and made the Pro Bowl five times during his 10-year career in Pittsburgh, said this morning that it hasn't been hard to make the transition to his new team in Cincinnati.
"It's really not hard to switch allegiances," Harrison said Friday morning before the Bengals practiced at Paul Brown Stadium. "It's about where I'm making my money. If you go to a different newspaper you're not going to be loyal to your other one, are you?
"Y'all can't seem to understand that concept. It's a job. Yeah, I enjoyed the guys I worked with. I'm thankful for everything they did for me and the Rooneys did for me. But right now, I'm with the Bengals and I'm going to put everything I have into helping the Bengals win just like I did when I was with the Steelers."
The Bengals will play host to the Steelers on Monday night football in three days. It will be the first time Harrison has had to face the Steelers since departing the team after last season.
Harrison, who played with the Steelers in 2002 and from 2004-12, was asked if his kids had to "trash" their Steelers stuff now that he is a member of the Bengals. Harrison responded by saying: "I let them keep it. Why not? They paid me a lot of money. They took care of me and my kids good."
Harrison is with the Bengals because he and the Steelers could not come to agreement on the restructuring of his contract that was to pay him $6.57 million this season. Harrison agreed to take a pay cut, but he balked at the final Steelers' offer of $3.7 million believing he could make more money on the open market.
The best offer was from the Bengals, who are paying Harrison $3 million this season as part of a two-year deal worth $4.45 million.
Harrison said he was not hurt that the Steelers singled him out to take a pay cut when others on the roster who are in their early- or mid-30s earn multimillion dollar contracts.
"It's part of the business," Harrison said. "It doesn't bother me."