According to a report from CBS Sports, the Baltimore Ravens are one of the two teams interested in signing veteran pass rusher James Harrison.
The Baltimore Ravens sufficed for just two sacks against one of the worst ranked offensive lines last night in a 23-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts. It’s a unit that’s significantly improved this season and is tied for fifth in the league with 40 sacks but as the Ravens have high postseason expectations, they could be looking for extra help from a division rival.
According to a report from CBS Sports, the Ravens are among one of the teams interested in signing veteran pass rusher James Harrison. Harrison was a surprise release by the Steelers yesterday to make room for the return of offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert.
Harrison appeared in just five games with the Steelers this season. Rookie outside linebacker T.J. Watt took most of the starting time and Harrison openly voiced his frustrations.
The 39-year old has spent close to 14 seasons with the Steelers and will now be eligible to sign with a new team for the first time in four years. Harrison spent time with the Ravens late during the 2003 season but never saw the active roster. He was cut, signed with the Steelers and went on to have an illustrious career in Pittsburgh. Needless to say, Ozzie Newsome and company probably look back on that move with regret but now have a chance for a homecoming.
Should the Ravens take a shot?
There’s no question Harrison is in incredible shape but would it be a move worth pursuing for the purple and black? Given the circumstances, I think it is.
Harrison can bring much-needed experience to the position. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and former Defensive Player of the Year. Other than Terrell Suggs and an injured Albert McClellan, the Ravens don’t have another pass rusher over the age of 25. He could be another mentor for Matt Judon and Za’Darius Smith along with rookies Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams. Harrison could be player Dean Pees utilizes on third-down situations. The Ravens rank 10th in opponent third-down percentage at 37.20% but have given up close to 50% the last three games. As they inch closer to the postseason, that can’t happen.
If anything, Harrison brings intel on the Steelers, who the Ravens could very well come up against if they clinch a playoff berth. That never hurts, especially against your arch rival.
This is a move the Ravens should pursue because there wouldn’t be any strings attached. Harrison is on the last leg of his career and both parties are aware of that. It wouldn’t be a long-term commitment and both sides could realistically move on after the season. Plus, you know the Patriots are going to sign Harrison if the Ravens don’t.