The potential union between the Cincinnati Bengals and James Harrison appears to be over.
Bengals and former Steelers LB James Harrison continue talking, but as one source texted, "Does not look like the numbers will work."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 16, 2013
Wednesday afternoon added yet another turn of events in the saga between the two sides.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport tweeted at 1:36 p.m. EST that talks between the Bengals and Harrison have officially broken off. He added that the Bengals are likely to pursue free-agent linebacker Karlos Dansby going forward.
While talks with James Harrison/#Bengals have broken off, the team remains interested in Karlos Dansby. Nothing has ramped up yet tho— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 17, 2013
This is a significant change after yesterday's reports indicated that talks were not going well (via USA Today). Even after that gloomy report, there was still a glimmer of hope that both sides would be able to work something out.
Now, it appears things have ended completely.
With the Bengals now steering away from 35-year-old Harrison—who should be a better fit in a 3-4 defensive scheme anyway—they now turn to the 31-year-old Dansby.
As Rapoport stated, there has not been any immediate action between the Bengals and Dansby, but expect a change in that regard in the very near future.
Being that Harrison's asking price seemed to be a determining factor in this contract dispute, it should be interesting to see what kind of deal is offered to the younger, more productive Dansby.