New England Patriots

According to Ian Rapport, the Pittsburgh Steelers have released veteran linebacker James Harrison.More than a week ago, the New England Patriots signed troubled and injury plagued wide receiver Kenny Britt to a two-year deal. During the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have liked to take fliers on players who have fallen out of good graces with their teams, been in trouble with the league and/or have seen a decrease in value; i.e.: Kenny Britt, Albert Haynesworth, Corey Dillon, Chad Ochocinco and the list goes on and on.

This all leads me to the idea that the Patriots should continue with the “Patriot Way” and add a guy like Harrison to their roster, who could bring a new dimension to the defense.

Over the course of the season, the Patriots have struggled with depth at linebacker and consistent play out of their core of linebackers. Harrison would bring a veteran presence to the defense and front seven, in addition to his knack for getting after the quarterback (82.5 career sacks) and making big tackles and plays down field when the game is on the line. Currently the Patriots’ linebackers have accounted for 9-of-32 sacks and more than 20 percent of the team’s tackles.

Even though Kyle Van Noy is expected to return this weekend against the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots could still take a crack at Harrison to see what he has left in the tank at the age of 39. The one thing that we do know, is that he’s in tremendous shape and is an absolute beast!

At six feet, 242 pounds, Harrison has appeared in five games this season, registering three tackles and a sack. This season he has only played 40 snaps as he’s watched his role diminish for the Steelers, who are using outside linebackers in more pass-coverage situations.

In all reality it’s not like the team will be asking for too much out of him. He comes in for an upwards of four games, does his job on some key snaps and applies pressure on the quarterback during a critical part of the game. I can hear the “Harrison with the sack!” call right now.

The Patriots now have something to consider here down the stretch as they head into the playoffs. So do the Patriots kick the tires on a Super Bowl winning veteran linebacker or do they play it cool and roll with what they have?

—  By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman,

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude!