According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Cincinnati Bengals and free agent linebacker James Harrison could agree to a deal in the coming days after he visited the team on Thursday:
Harrison and the Bengals have yet to enter in-depth contract talks on the heels of Thursday’s visit, but Rapoport was told discussions are likely to heat up over the weekend.
Cincinnati hosted Harrison along with Karlos Dansby this week, but don’t plan to sign both. Signs point to Harrison joining the Bengals, who envision him as a base outside linebacker and nickel pass-rusher, according to team sources.
Harrison’s 64 career sacks is the 14th-most by any active players, and after notching 6 sacks in 13 games in 2012, he clearly still has something left in the tank from a pass-rushing standpoint.
Zimmer could certainly find a way for him to contribute while masking his weaknesses in the same way he did with Manny Lawson the past two seasons, and because Harrison is a much better pass-rusher, it would make a defense that finished with a franchise record 51 sacks in 2012, they could be even better in 2013 if Harrison is on the roster.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Harrison has earned two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers in Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII, and would bring invaluable experience and leadership to a team hoping to become contenders in 2013.