clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

James Harrison Says He Wants To Keep Playing

New, comments

After retiring and un-retiring in 2014, the Steelers linebacker wants more.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I guess James Harrison felt challenged by Joe Flacco saying that he wants to play until he's 40.

James Harrison says that he feels great and wants to remain a starter for many more years. He's saying this as a 37 year old who has retired once and is among the oldest players in the NFL.

Nobody wants to be in a backup role. If that’s your mentality, then you’re not in the right sport. Everybody wants to start, but we all have roles to play. I think I can play more than 25 snaps a game when I’m 50.

And if you thought history was against Flacco starting at 40, it's going against Harrison even more.

Only two linebackers have been starters in the NFL at the age of 40: Clay Matthews Jr. in 1996 and Hall of Famer Junior Seau in 2009. None have come close to playing at 50, but then again Harrison came back to the Steelers after his retirement and whooped up on some of the Steelers' younger players until he saw his snap count rise.

Harrison has been working out vigorously, but even so his best bet at making it to 40 and beyond is as a situational rusher, not as a full-time starter as he acknowledged.

However, if the Steelers are in a position where a 40+ year old linebacker is getting significant playtime, it means that their younger linebackers aren't exactly shining. Maybe that isn't so bad after all if you are the Ravens.