Pittsburgh Precedent: Steelers Release Cedrick Wilson, Keep James Harrison

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IMarch 21, 2008

James Harrison is a Pro Bowl outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cedrick Wilson is a backup wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Both assaulted women, yet one is still on the team.

Now, there are a few things that need to be stated before anything else is said in regards to Wilson and Harrison.

I do not condone assaulting anyone, especially women.

I'm also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Now with that out of the way, is anyone really surprised the Steelers cut Wilson?

The same guy who complained about not getting the ball despite playing behind guys like Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, and Antwaan Randle El?

The Cedrick Wilson who has disappeared at random times during the season, only to reappear for one game and catch five balls for over 100 yards and a touchdown, all after Ben Roethlisberger had to tell him, "I'll get you involved."

I fully expected Wilson to get cut anyway, the assault charges just made the wish of Steeler Nation come true.

Surely though, the Steelers are looking awfully bad right now considering they didn't make a move after Harrison was arrested for the same type of actions.

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About a week or so ago, Harrison was pulled over by cops and arrested for allegedly breaking down his girlfriend's door, snapping her cell phone in half, and smacking her across the face. 

Dan Rooney stood pat. They don't condone it, but, no, we aren't going to do anything to him.

Now someone a little less important does the same thing, probably a little bit worse. And low and behold, it's time to drop the axe.

Wilson allegedly pushed his girlfriend in the shoulder, and then slugged her on the left side of her face.

I'm not about to analyze the difference between an open fist and a closed one. But I do want to take a look at the reasoning provided by the Rooney family that was released in a statement Thursday night.

"In no way do we condone domestic violence of any kind. Each incident must be considered on a case-by-case basis. In the situation with James Harrison, he contacted us immediately after his incident and has taken responsibility for his actions."

Certainly then, that makes sense. Harrison did apologize immediately and took responsibility.

Wait. So did Cedrick Wilson, as told to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"I'm very apologetic. I shouldn't have done it. I hold myself to a higher standard than that. I just want to apologize to Lindsey, her family, the NFL family, and the Pittsburgh Steeler nation. I let them down."

So certainly there must be a reason here.

Oh, that's right. Harrison made the Pro Bowl, and he is arguably the team’s best linebacker.

Of course, as Dan Rooney said, this is a case-by-case basis. Certainly, the real reason the Steelers released Wilson and not Harrison was not due to Harrison wanting to baptize his kid.

Guys like Chris Henry and Adam Jones stick with their clubs through a multitude of offenses because their skill set is very good.

So, yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers look awfully hypocritical today as one guy charged for assault is kicked off the team, and the other is not.

But they are simply following the scary precedent set by the rest of the NFL. If he's good on the field, that's good enough for me.

I don’t particularly like Wilson, but he seems upset over the boneheaded mistake he made. I don’t know if he will find work this year, but, so far, he’s said all the right things.

I wish him well on his quest to redeem himself.

Harrison, on the other hand, also has to redeem himself, but he has to worry about playing football, too. I want him to do both.


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