James Harrison said at the end of the 2016 season that he wanted to come back and play another year or two, and on Wednesday his return was secured when he signed a two-year deal that will keep him with the Steelers through the 2018 season.
"It was easy," said Harrison after signing. "That is what both parties wanted and we were able to come to an agreement.
"It's home. It's the only place that I really wanted to be. It's where my family is. It's a great organization."
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Harrison, who was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on March 9, became the Steelers all-time sack leader in 2016 when he passed Jason Gildon (77.0) and recorded his 77.5 career-sack, taking down Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler. It was only fitting it happened against the Browns, the team he recorded his first NFL sack against.
Harrison, who now has 79.5 sacks with the Steelers, and 81.5 overall in his career (two with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013), has had triple digit sacks three times in career, a team-best 19 games with multiple sacks, a career-best 16 sacks in 2008 when he was Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and 10.5 in 2010 and 10 in 2009.
Harrison was named the AFC and Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year during the 2008 Super Bowl season, setting a Steelers' single-season record with 16 sacks. He was voted to the Pro Bowl five consecutive years (2007-11) and twice voted Steelers MVP (2007-08). He also holds the record for the longest interception return in Super Bowl history, a 100-yard touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
In 2016 Harrison played in 15 games, starting seven, and finished with 53 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles.
Despite all he has accomplished in his career, there is more the 38-year old wants.
"I want to get a Lombardi," said Harrison. "I want to get another Super Bowl. That is the biggest thing I want to accomplish.
"The other thing would be, I want to prove anybody wrong that doubts me."
Harrison, who joined the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002, retired in 2014, but quickly came out of retirement not long after when the Steelers were hit with injuries. Playing over the last few years has given his two sons, James and Henry, a better opportunity to understand what his dad does, something he enjoys.
"It's special to bring them down for the Saturday walk through, things like that," said Harrison. "That is something I don't believe you get to do everywhere. I don't think teams are open to that. It shows the family mindset the Steelers have."
Take a look at some of the best photos from the career of Steelers LB James Harrison.