Linebacker James Harrison, who turns 40 on May 4, has decided to retire from the NFL after 15 seasons.
In an Instagram post that features photos of his children, Harrison writes: “I’ve missed way too much for way too long…and I’m done. Many thanks to my family, coaches, the fans, and everyone who played a role in my football life.”
Harrison retired for the first time in August of 2014. But he returned at the end of September after the Steelers suffered numerous injuries at the outside linebacker position.
The last two seasons, Harrison continued playing in a Steelers jersey but his snaps were vastly reduced this past campaign.
A one time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Harrison was released in December by the Steelers. He went on to play out the season in New England, where he played in the Super Bowl with the Patriots.
On the way out, Harrison’s teammates chastised him for his decorum in team meetings and his attitude around the club this season following a minimal role on the team in 2017. Center Maurkice Pouncey claimed that the five-time Pro Bowler had ruined his legacy.
Harrison had five tackles and two sacks in the team’s regular-season finale — his first game with the Patriots — and totaled six tackles and a quarterback hit in three playoff games.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick credited him for his professional approach in the playoffs.
Harrison exits the league with 84.5 career sacks — 80.5 are a franchise-record in Pittsburgh — after he went undrafted out of Kent State and joined the Steelers in 2002.