Steelers inch closer to releasing Harrison

The agent for James Harrison continues to say the linebacker wants to remain with the Steelers. Pittsburgh's coaching staff wants Harrison to remain with the Steelers.

But, as talks on a restructured contract go nowhere, it's looking more and more like Harrison will be an ex-Steeler.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the negotiations between the Steelers and the agent for Harrison are at an impasse, which increases the chances that the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker will be released soon. The deadline appears to be Tuesday, when free agency begins and teams have to be under the salary cap.

The presumed sticking point is Harrison's $6.57 million salary. While Harrison has previously said he won't take a reduced salary, he may have to rethink that position. Whatever pay cut the Steelers are suggesting (let's say $3.5 million, for argument's sake), Harrison has to decide whether he can make more money elsewhere. If he believes he can earn more with another team, he should welcome cutting ties with Pittsburgh. If not, Harrison should sign off on a pay cut even though it's a blow to the ego.

It's looking like the Steelers want to get more cap room from Harrison one way or another. If they can't get Harrison to reduce his salary, the Steelers would gain $5.1 million by cutting him.