New England Patriots

(L-R) James Harrison, Bill Belichick (Photos: Justin K. Aller/Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

James Harrison signing with the Patriots isn’t nearly as big a deal to Bill Belichick as it is to reporters who ask him about it.

The ex-Steelers linebacker’s decision to work his way out of Pittsburgh before signing with New England certainly feels like a big move. However, Harrison played just 40 snaps in five games for the Steelers this season and it’s unclear what he has left at age 39.

Also, it’s far from the first time that a player left a team and joined their rival. Certainly not for Belichick’s Patriots, who signed former Jets linebacker David Harris in the offseason.

“This is the National Football League. Players change teams,” Belichick told reporters on Friday when asked if it’s strange to see Harrison in a Patriots uniform. “We have David Harris. It’s not like this is some kind of unprecedented event. That’s just not what it is.

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“We’re not talking about college where players don’t change teams. This is professional football. It’s like that every year, it’s like that every week, it’s like that on every team. I don’t see it as some big historical event.”

Bill Belichick is throwing cold water on the James Harrison signing. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

James Harrison (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The James Harrison Signing: No Big Deal?

If Belichick’s Wednesday press conference didn’t put a stop to the constant James Harrison questions, Friday’s might do the trick.

Unsurprisingly, Belichick has no use for the juicy media storylines that emerged from Harrison’s exit from Pittsburgh and move to Foxboro. At the end of the day, this is a legendary Steeler who allegedly forced his way out so he could join their chief AFC rival. And there’s always the chance that he has one more good run in him, at a time where the Patriots could use a pass-rusher.

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But in fairness, Harrison also represents an extreme low-risk signing for Belichick. He could ultimately bring nothing to the table, positively or negatively. And consequently, the barrage of questions about him would be mostly meaningless.

The James Harrison signing clearly spawned some questions that should be asked. But at the same time, it is being treated as some kind of Earth-shattering move when it really is not. And Belichick is already sick of talking about it.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff 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 Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff.