Report: Cincinnati Bengals Agree to Terms with James Harrison

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIApril 19, 2013

James Harrison and the Cincinnati Bengals have finally agreed to terms on a deal.
James Harrison and the Cincinnati Bengals have finally agreed to terms on a deal.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The seemingly never-ending saga between the Cincinnati Bengals and linebacker James Harrison has finally come to an end.

After the sides resumed contract negotiations today, it was finally announced that they had agreed to terms on a new contract.

First, a quick recap of what transpired over the past week.

It started with a simple tweet by NFL insider Adam Schefter this past Sunday. He tweeted:

At this point, it seemed very realistic that a deal would be completed within the following couple of days. Not only did both sides fail to accomplish that task, but a new report surfaced from Schefter two days later. This time, he relayed some bad news:

That same day, Pro Football Talk added insight to what Schefter heard, explaining that talks were "not going well". This was the next tweet to surface:

Now it seemed all but over between these two sides. The only thing left to see would be the official word that talks had ceased. That happened one day later when Ian Rapoport broke that news via twitter.

That seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for these two sides. It was previously mentioned on Twitter by Pro Football Central that the difference in guaranteed money was the breaking point in the negotiations.

It appeared that the Bengals would now concentrate their efforts on signing Karlos Dansby with Harrison now falling by the wayside. This was the latest news to surface about the Bengals search for a linebacker until today.

Rapoport fired away on Twitter once again and confirmed that talks between Cincinnati and Harrison were indeed back on.

This came as a shock to most. However, it did make sense of comments made by Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis earlier in the day. This is what Lewis had to say about Harrison and Dansby via

Either player that comes in, we make some adjustment to things we do and we feel good about them. They bring some playmaking ability to us and would be good to have. They are good men and would continue to enhance the defensive room. Both guys are smart guys and that would be good.

Finally, Geoff Hobson of sent out a message via Twitter that ended the speculation for good.

This was followed up by a tweet from Harrison, himself.

With Harrison in the fold, the Bengals can now afford to look elsewhere early in the draft if they so choose. With big needs at the safety and offensive tackle position, they can afford to go down those avenues instead.

The starting lineup at linebacker this season for the Bengals should be Rey Maualuga at MIKE, Vontaze Burfict at WILL and Harrison at SAM.

This move has instantly made the Bengals a better team and also gives Harrison a chance at revenge against the Pittsburgh Steelers by staying in the AFC North.