James Harrison and the Cincinnati Bengals have finally agreed to terms on a deal.
First, a quick recap of what transpired over the past week.
Bengals and former Steelers LB James Harrison will try to complete a deal this week. Harrison more signable than Karlos Dansby at this time.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2013
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:
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
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:
Bengals talks with Harrison "not going well" wp.me/p14QSB-8gKd— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 16, 2013
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.
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
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.
Huge roadblock in negotiations is guaranteed money. Harrison wants more of a guarantee that what Cincy is offering.— BrianHPFC (@PFCentral) April 16, 2013
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 Cincinnati.com.
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.
#Bengals have agreement with James Harrison, his agent says.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) April 19, 2013
This was followed up by a tweet from Harrison, himself.
Whodey!!!!!!!!!!! Hello Cincinnati!!!!— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) April 19, 2013
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.