After 14 seasons with Steelers, recently-released linebacker James Harrison signs with rival Patriots

James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With the Patriots and Steelers, the top two seeds in the AFC, on a crash course to meet in the conference championship next month, one of the most popular Steelers defenders is switching sides during the final week of the regular season.

James Harrison, who was cut by Pittsburgh three days ago, has signed with New England. The  39 year old linebacker confirmed the news in an Instagram post. Harrison, pictured with 40 year old Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, captioned his post “Finally…a teammate that’s older than me”

Finally… A teammate that’s older than me!😂😂 @tombrady

A post shared by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

Harrison played in five games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017 before being released on December 23. The 6-foot, 242-pounder, is in his 15th NFL season after originally entering the NFL as a rookie free agent with Pittsburgh on April 22, 2002. After 11 seasons in Pittsburgh, Harrison spent the 2013 season in Cincinnati, before re-signing with Pittsburgh in 2014.

He has played in 192 with 117 starts and has 516 total tackles, 82½ sacks, eight interceptions, 33 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries. Harrison has played in 19 postseason games with 12 starts with 77 total tackles, 11 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. He has played in three Super Bowls with Pittsburgh, including two Super Bowl Championship teams. In Super Bowl XLIII, he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, the longest interception return in Super Bowl history. Harrison is Pittsburgh’s all-time leader in sacks with 80½. Harrison has been named the Pro Bowl five times, named a first-team All-Pro twice and second-team two times.