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Steelers cut James Harrison in salary cap move

Outside linebacker, who made five Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh, was scheduled to make $6.57 million next season.

March 09, 2013|Wire reports
  • Outside linebacker James Harrison was released Saturday by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the two sides failed to reach a new contract.
Outside linebacker James Harrison was released Saturday by the Pittsburgh… (Gene J. Puskar / Associated…)

James Harrison's snarling tenacity made the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker one of the NFL's most intimidating players for nearly a decade.

Big hits — some legal, some not so much — also turned the outspoken five-time Pro Bowler into focal point for a league-wide crackdown on helmet-to-helmet contact.

Harrison's outlaw image made him beloved in Pittsburgh but reviled elsewhere. His onerous contract, however, no longer worked for a team with serious salary cap issues. The Steelers released the former defensive player of the year on Saturday when the two sides could not agree on a more cap-friendly deal.

"It's been a great run but all good things must come to a end," Harrison posted on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon. "Thank you Steelers Nation I will miss you all!"

Pittsburgh General Manager Kevin Colbert and Harrison's agent Bill Parise had spent the last few days trying to iron out a new deal but couldn't reach any common ground. Harrison was entering the final two years of a $51-million extension he signed in 2009 and was scheduled to make $6.57 million in 2013.

Instead, Harrison — who turns 35 in May — will find himself looking for work for the first time since he became a fixture on the right side of Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense in 2006.

Cornerback Leodis McKelvin is staying in Buffalo after the Bills reached an agreement to re-sign their 2008 first-round draft pick. A person familiar with the negotiations said McKelvin agreed to a four-year contract worth a little over $20 million.

New Orleans linebacker Junior Galette has agreed to a three-year contract to remain with the Saints.

Strong safety William Moore agreed to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons and will receive $14 million guaranteed in a new five-year contract. The maximum value of the deal is $32 million, Moore's agent, Andy Ross, said in an email to the Associated Press.

A person with knowledge of the deal said the San Diego Chargers have agreed in principle to a four-year contract with kicker Nick Novak.

Teams are able to negotiate with agents of unrestricted free agents from Saturday into Tuesday afternoon.

Novak made 18 of 20 field goal attempts (90%) in 2012, the third-highest conversion rate in team history.

Fullback Darrel Young and tight end Logan Paulsen have agreed to three-year contracts to remain with the Washington Redskins. Young will receive a $1 million signing bonus in a contract with a maximum value of $6.2 million.

ETC.

Gomez, Brown share Puerto Rico Open lead

Fabian Gomez of Argentina opened with six birdies on the front nine for a seven-under 65 and a share of the lead with Scott Brown going into the final round of the Puerto Rico Open in Grande.

Brown had a 67 to join Gomez in the lead. They set the tournament record at 18-under 198. They were four shots clear.

Gomez and Andres Romero battled for the lead until Romero took triple bogey on the par-four 12th and added three bogeys for a 73 that dropped him five shots behind.

Sam Hornish Jr. survived two restarts in the final 15 laps and held off Kyle Busch to win the Nationwide Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Hornish led 114 laps in his second career Nationwide victory, but needed a strong finish to outrun Busch, the hometown driver who won the Nationwide race last week in Phoenix. Pole sitter Brian Vickers finished third, with Trevor Bayne fourth and Elliott Sadler fifth. Travis Pastrana came in 10th, four spots ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Ted Ligety clinched the World Cup giant slalom title by winning his fifth race of the season, at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.

It's the American's fourth discipline title after also winning in 2008 and 2010-11. He also successfully defended his GS title at the world championships last month.

Ligety held on to his first-run lead to win Saturday's race in 2 minutes 35.43 seconds.

With one GS race still to go, the victory earned Ligety an insurmountable 125-point lead over Austria's Marcel Hirscher, who was 0.45 behind in second.

Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera returned from injuries to make their 2013 spring training debuts Saturday in Tampa, Fla., in the New York Yankees' 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The 38-year-old Jeter was a designated hitter and singled sharply to left field on his first pitch since breaking his left ankle on Oct. 13 in the AL Championship Series opener. Jeter, who missed New York's first 13 spring training games, grounded out to third base in his only other at-bat.

Hours after announcing this will be his final season, the 43-year-old Rivera made his first game appearance since April 30, throwing a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Looking like his overpowering self of old, Rivera retired Dan Uggla on a popup to second, then threw called third strikes past Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson.

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