The Pittsburgh Steelers cleaned house this offseason, and outside linebacker James Harrison was left to find a new home in free agency.
UPDATE: Friday. Apr. 19, at 5:20 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
ESPN's Adam Schefter revealed the length of Harrison's new deal:
Bengals and former Steelers LB James Harrison agreed to two-year deal. It was, in word of one source, a "process."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 19, 2013
James Harrison let everyone know how excited he was with this tweet announcing his new home:
Whodey!!!!!!!!!!! Hello Cincinnati!!!!— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) April 19, 2013
---End of update---
#Bengals have agreement with James Harrison, his agent says.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) April 19, 2013
Harrison went undrafted in 2002, later signing with the Steelers as a member of their practice squad. After being released and re-signed several times, the Kent State product finally earned his keep as a starter in 2007, achieving an All-Pro selection as a starting linebacker in Pittsburgh.
In six seasons as a starter with the Steelers, Harrison compiled 370 tackles and 60 sacks and earned a reputation as one of the fiercest defenders in the NFL.
While Harrison has always been know for his toughness and heavy hitting, his career hasn't been without controversy.
In 2012, Harrison was suspended for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. The suspension was part of multiple infractions for the linebacker, six times being fined for similar hits (h/t Yahoo! Sports).
The five-time Pro Bowler missed eight games in his final two years with the Steelers, and with durability concerns and a refusal to restructure his contract, Harrison was released prior to free agency (per ESPN).
Harrison was one of the best outside linebackers available in free agency this offseason. As long as he can remain healthy in 2013, he'll continue to be a feared defender and productive linebacker in the NFL.