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Pittsburgh Steelers want James Harrison back for 2017

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in keeping James Harrison around for another season -- and the ageless linebacker feels the same way.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that mutual interest exists between the team and the 38-year-old free agent, according to Harrison's agent, Bill Parise.

"The sides have not begun negotiating in earnest, but it sounds like a matter of time before it happens," Rapoport reported.

It echoes what Steelers president Art Rooney II said last month, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the club is "open" to reuniting with Harrison, while noting: "I think he is, (too)."

And why not? Harrison was marvelous last season, piling up five sacks on 758 snaps in the regular season before adding another 2.5 takedowns in the playoffs.

The Dolphins, for starters, have no doubts about Harrison's ability to wreck a game plan, as he did to Miami in a lopsided playoff encounter.

While other quarterback-chasers are typically retired or rendered subpar by his age, Harrison was a terror who overwhelmed blockers and forced teams to pay extra attention to him on passing downs. Finishing as the 11th-rated edge rusher by Pro Football Focus, Harrison also played well against the run and wound up with the metric site's third-highest grade in pass coverage.

While we marvel at the feats of a nearly 40-year-old Tom Brady, don't forget what Harrison has accomplished -- and the havoc he continues to wreak -- in Pittsburgh. The player and team remain a perfect match, much to the disdain of the AFC North.

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