When I first heard that James Harrison was contemplating retiring I thought it was a joke. How could a pro bowler in the NFL actually be thinking about this at only 32 years old?
He and Troy Polamalu are the two most destructive players on the defensive side of the ball for the Steelers. Harrison reportedly does not like the change in rules to first time offenders for illegal hits.
In Sunday’s game versus the Cleveland Browns, Harrison had two violent hits. One on Josh Cribbs who was taking the ball up the right side of the field and got popped and the second on Mohamed Massaquoi, who was coming across the middle and without a doubt Harrison went helmet to helmet laying Massaquoi out.
Harrison was fined $75,000 for the hit on the Cleveland Browns wide receiver and now is contemplating retirement due to the fact he doesn’t know if he can be productive on the football field anymore. Harrison note to self you made it to the NFL because you tackle people, not because you led with your helmet into defensless players coming over the middle.
The Browns safety T.J. Ward was just fined for a similar hit three weeks ago on Jordan Shipley of the Bengals. These hits simply should not exist. If the only way you know how to play football is by injuring players every week then maybe it is best that you pack your bags and leave. Not only would you be letting your team down but down the road you would look at this decision and see it as a regret. Big hits are a part of football but the line needs to be drawn somewhere before people get hurt. I love big hits just as much as any other NFL fan and big hits will continue to happen just keep them below the head.
Harrison, pay the fine and get on with preparing for the Dolphins, who have been running over teams with their offense in recent weeks. Just like it was stated in the article on ESPN (which will be linked to this article) “ Harrison has made $20 million over the past three years, and they only fined him $75,000?” Be happy that it was just $75,000 and they didn’t hit you with Cribbs getting messed up as well.
ESPN related article: Harrison Mulling Retirement