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Patriots Have Been In Contact With James Harrison About Potential Return

According to Nora Princiotti, the Patriots know that free agent DE/OLB James Harrison wants to return for the 2018 season and they’ve been in touch with him about a possible return.

  • This first with a report from Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com, who recently mentioned that the Patriots have been in contact with Harrison about a potential return to New England.

A few months ago, Harrison told Mike Reiss of ESPN that he would like to play another year or two before calling it a career.

“I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41,” Harrison said this week.

While Harrison would like to continue his career, he says that he’s getting closer to walking away, given that he told his son that he could play contact football once he retires.

“But at some point in time, I’m going to have to stop [playing],” Harrison said. “I told my son [James III] he could play contact football when I stop, so I’m going to have to give it up in the near future, so he can start getting adjusted to playing. I don’t want him to wait too long.

“He’s already 10, and then he’ll be playing against kids who have been doing it for 4 or 5 years, contact football, and they’ll know how to take a hit and give a hit. To have a kid come into high school, or even be 14, 15 years old and have been playing since they were 10, that puts him at a disadvantage, especially just safety-wise.”

Harrison will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason but he doesn’t think the Super Bowl will be his last game.

“I don’t see this being where I want to stop at right now,” Harrison said.

Harrison, 39, originally signed on with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State back in 2002. He had a brief stint with the Ravens but returned to the Steelers in 2004 and eventually secured a long-term extension from the team.

Pittsburgh, unfortunately, released him in 2013 and Harrison spent a year with the Bengals before returning to the Steelers at the start of the 2014 season. The Steelers re-signed him to a two-year, $3.5 million contract that included $500,000 guarantee this past March before he was waived last month.

The Patriots later signed him to a one-year contract for the 2018 season.

In 2017, Harrison appeared in six games and recorded eight tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble.