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NFL Rumors: James Harrison, Santonio Holmes Hope To Return To Steelers

Both coming off down years, James Harrison and Santonio Holmes reportedly want back to Pittsburgh where they each had career years.

James Harrison
James Harrison

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

James Harrison and Santonio Holmes have both had quiet offseasons.

The former Pittsburgh Steelers standouts that were critical to the team’s Super Bowl victory against the Arizona Cardinals in 2011 are now on their couches looking for work.

Harrison and Holmes were released by the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets, respectively, but are hoping to return to Pittsburgh, said former teammate Ike Taylor.

“It’s for sure the both of them want to come back. I’ve talked to both of them,” Taylor said during his weekly appearance on TribLive Radio. 

“(Harrison) still wants to play football, and of course his first option would be Pittsburgh. He came over to my house, and when he shook my hand, his hand felt like a brick. I told (him) he can’t shake my hand like that anymore. He’s probably in the best shape of his life. Right now he looks like the Hulk. He’s been banged up, and he feels he has something to prove.”

Harrison, 36, played last season with the Bengals after spending his entire career (10 years) with the Black and Yellow. Harrison played in 15 games with the Steelers’ AFC North rival, starting 10 and racking up 19 tackles, two sacks, and an interception.

Cincy released Harrison in March to save $1.43 million in cap space. Soon after, Harrison expressed interest in returning to the Steelers.

Holmes, 30, is coming off an injury-riddled stint with the Jets since they acquired him from Pittsburgh via trade prior to the 2010 season. Holmes never recorded more than 746 receiving yards in his four seasons in New York, and after hauling in 14 touchdown passes his first two seasons, managed just two over the last two. He played in 15 games in 2012 and 2013 combined.

The Jets cut Holmes in March, clearing up $8.25 million in cap space, and replacing him with top free-agent wideout Eric Decker and three rookie wideouts in the NFL Draft.

Neither Harrison nor Holmes have garnered much interest this offseason. ESPN reported the Steelers are not interested in a reunion with either player, citing the team has a history of not bringing back former star players, including Hines Ward, Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton.

1 Comment
  • David Hauck

    two of the Steelers best at one time but that time sadly has past, wish them both the best!

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