Art Rooney II not hot on idea of James Harrison retiring as a Steeler

Aug 18, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) looks on from the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Until December of this past year, James Harrison was a Pittsburgh Steeler, through and through, even though he had played for other teams. Pittsburgh has been the team Harrison is associated with, and he’s been a key player for the franchise during its recent championship runs.

Then, all hell broke loose. Harrison was ultimately released after he expressed his displeasure about not playing hardly at all during the 2017 season. Then, he did the unthinkable (in the eyes of some Steelers and their fans) by signing with the hated New England Patriots.

Not surprisingly, team president Art Rooney II isn’t exactly high on the idea Harrison could one day retire with his team.

“I think we’ll let the dust settle for a while,” Rooney said during an interview with 93.7 The Fan, per Steelers Depot. “You know, James had a great career here and obviously the way it ended was disappointing from a lot of different standpoints. So, look, the end of player’s careers is sometimes not very pretty. I mean, seeing Franco Harris in a Seahawks jersey, it was like a one of our worst nightmares. So, things like this happen at the end of player’s careers and like I said, we’ll probably let the dust settle for a while and we’ll see where that goes.”

Rooney isn’t saying it can’t happen. But he’s clearly not feeling all warm and fuzzy about his former player.

Now at the age of 40, Harrison is about to become a free agent once again. It’s hard to imagine he’ll receive a ton of interest around the league, though he does want to continue playing for a couple more years.

Should he choose to retire, it sure doesn’t seem like the Steelers are interested in having him retire as a member of their storied franchise. At least, not for now.