NFL free agency 2013: James Harrison wouldn't make sense for the Chiefs

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Late last week the Pittsburgh Steelers cut James Harrison after the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on a pay cut. Harrison was the NFL's defensive player of the year as recently as 2009 so some people want the Chiefs to sign him. I don't think it's a good idea, due partially to Harrison's age and partially due to the Chiefs current personnel.

James Harrison, the 2009 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is on the market. What do you do? Kansas City Chiefs fans, of course, sign him. I saw more than a few tweets like this after the Steelers decided to pull the plug on Harrison last week:

Not so fast, my friend.

First, Harrison is 34 years old. As we've noted around here, those on the wrong side of 30 rarely get better with age. Things like speed and athleticism certainly don't get better with age. Harrison's stats show he had a prime in his career, and he is passing it. There is no reason to expect he will get better.

Second, and most importantly in my mind, who are you taking off the field? It's either Tamba Hali or Justin Houston. Are you removing Tamba, who has been the Chiefs only pass rush in existence prior to Justin Houston's emergence? Or are you signing someone to take snaps away from Houston, a year before his contract is up and the Chiefs will want to re-sign him?

This isn't to say the Chiefs are in the running for him. I don't think they've ever seriously been connected to him, although Harrison sounds like he'd play for a lot of teams right now.

This is your annual reminder that big name players do not mean quality players. In fact, at this time of year, that's usually not the case. You always have to examine why a team, especially a team like the Steelers, were willing to cut a player loose.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Arrowhead Pride

You must be a member of Arrowhead Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arrowhead Pride. You should read them.

Join Arrowhead Pride

You must be a member of Arrowhead Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arrowhead Pride. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker