NFL Network analyst Ian Rappaport tweeted on Friday that he was told that the Cincinnati Bengals and linebacker James Harrison have agreed to a deal. This comes just days after Harrison originally visited the Bengals along with former Dolphins LB Karlos Dansby. Initial reports surfaced that the deal was close, but the tone shifted when reports indicated that the two weren't likely to agree to terms.
The Bengals and James Harrison have a deal, I'm told— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2013
Harrison joins the Bengals following his release from the Pittsburgh Steelers after they failed to restructure his contract. Harrison was slated to make $6.5 million in Pittsburgh, a number that Harrison likely won't see again. Details on the duration and amount of the deal have not been released.
Harrison won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and was competing with Dansby for the Sam linebacker role. Head coach Marvin Lewis had good things to say about both:
I think either player comes in and we make some adjustments to things we do and we feel good about it. They bring some play-making ability to us and they would be good to have. They're good men. They would continue to enhance the defensive room and the team. Both guys are smart. We won't sign both.
And they didn't—they signed Harrison.