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James Harrison, Steelers searching for common ground

Faced with a dire salary-cap situation, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been restructuring contracts while mortgaging against the future.

James Harrison, due a prohibitive $6.57 million this season, has been playing coy about a potential pay cut. Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, has been discussing the linebacker's contract with the Steelers, however, in an effort to reduce the salary-cap hit for 2013.

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Parise told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Tuesday both sides have been working "incredibly hard" to work something out.

Parise also told Rapoport that Harrison "wants to retire with the Steelers. We both want him to. He's more than happy to help with their salary cap situation."

It's not clear yet if the Steelers have requested a reduction in pay or simply have designs on converting a percentage of Harrison's base salary into a signing bonus.

"We're talking," Parise told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Both sides want to try to do something. We're trying to (find) common ground."

Harrison will enter the season at age 35, and with declining pass-rushing impact he is no longer worth the bloated cap number of $10.035 million. One thing he does have in his corner is that the coaching staff is still "counting on" him opposite LaMarr Woodley for one more season.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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