December 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) interact on the field before playing the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. The Cincinnati Bengals won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Former Steelers LB James Harrison Retires

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison announced his retirement from the NFL Saturday morning via Facebook.

For the entire offseason Steeler Nation has been torn between being excited for the infusion of youth into the defense and the desire to see Brett Keisel and James Harrison suit up in Black & Gold one more time. The Steelers signed DE Brett Keisel to a two-year contract in the third week of the preseason but after a visit to the Arizona Cardinals (of course) James Harrison has decided to call it quits on his NFL career for good.

James Harrison was signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2002 out of Kent State. Harrison would go on to spend some time on and off of the practice squad before being signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2003 and then sent to the NFL Europe. Harrison was then signed again by the Steelers in 2004 during training camp. In 2007 Harrison became the official next intimidating Steelers linebacker after Joey Porter was cut. He would make the Pro Bowl that season as well as in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. James Harrison was also voted the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and still holds the record for the longest interception in Super Bowl history when he picked off Kurt Warner at the goal line and ran it back the length of the field as time expired for the first half of Super Bowl XLIII.

If you follow James Harrison on social media you’re no stranger to the fact that the man keeps himself in insane physical condition and you also know that with every workout video, or even pictures of his kids he’s bombarded with comments and pleas from Steelers fans for his return. While his post is just his notification and there has been no official retirement paperwork filed with the NFL at this point, it’s time to realize that James Harrison’s days as a Steeler are no more. Best of luck, James. Once a Steeler, always a Steeler.

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