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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says James Harrison return to the Steelers is a “matter of time”

Will Harrison remain a thorn in the Ravens side?

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Many faces have changed over the years when it comes to the rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some faces remain the same like Joe Flacco, Mike Wallace (who re-entered the rivalry by switching jerseys), Ben Roethlisberger and Terrell Suggs.

Another man, or beast, still looms large every time these two bitter rivals get together: James Harrison. The man has been an animal throughout his career, a career that could very well end with a bust in Canton, Ohio. Whenever he sees purple and black lining up against him, he turns the intensity up to another level. Even if Harrison is struggling, he makes sure to break his cold streak whenever the Ravens come to town. Now, even at age 38 and set to become a free agent, it sounds like Harrison will be wreaking havoc again for the Steelers in 2017.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport spoke with Harrison's agent Bill Parise, and said that the Steelers want the long time pass-rusher back next season. Parise told Rapoport that Harrison wants to re-sign with Pittsburgh and Rapoport describes the situation as a "matter of time" until Harrison and the Steelers reach an agreement on a new deal. Harrison even told reporters that he was "not done" when talking about his future.

It sounds like Harrison will be back for another run with the Steelers - the question is for how long? Will it be beyond next season? Harrison will turn 39 in May, but he still remains a force on the Steelers defense. However, father time is undefeated. If Harrison does return, Ravens rookie standout Ronnie Stanley will have to be ready for another bout with the ferocious pass-rusher.

Stanley missed four consecutive games before retuning to face Harrison and the Steelers in Week 9. The Ravens won the game, but Stanley was manhandled badly by the savvy veteran. On Christmas night, Stanley would win the rematch with Harrison. The young left tackle out of Notre Dame will have to be ready for rounds 3 and 4 with Harrison next season. Who knows, there might be more rounds to come after 2017 as well.

Now, lets say the off-chance Harrison doesn't come to an agreement with the team he has spent the majority of his career with and hits the free agent market. With the Ravens in need of pass-rushing help, would you want Ozzie Newsome to take a chance and sign the soon-to-be 39-year old outside linebacker? There was mutual interest between the two sides back in 2013.