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James Harrison announces retirement from the NFL

James Harrison has called it a career.

The longtime Steelers linebacker announced on his Instagram account Monday morning that he’s retiring from the NFL after a stellar 15-year career.

“I’ve missed way too much for way too long…and I’m done,” Harrison wrote in a photo caption alongside pictures of his children. “Many thanks to my family, coaches, the fans, and everyone who played a role in my football life. #2ndAndFinalRetirement #HarrisonFamilyValues #BlessedAndHighlyFavored #GodsPlan”


James Harrison said he’s hanging up his cleats after 15 years in the NFL.

(Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Harrison, who turns 40 next month, spent the majority of his career in Pittsburgh but joined the rival Patriots late last season after being cut by the Steelers. The five-time Pro-Bowler won two rings with the Steelers during the 2005 and 2008 seasons, leading the team on defense to its fifth and NFL-best sixth Super Bowl titles. The bulky lineman was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year for the 2008 season, and holds the franchise record for sacks with 80.5.

Despite his successful run with the Steelers, Harrison did not part with the team on the best terms. Harrison grew frustrated with his reduced playing time during the 2017 season and asked the Steelers to release him, which they did in December.

Afte quickly signing with the Patriots, Harrison was ripped by some of his former teammates, who said he snored during meetings and left the stadium before the end of a game against the Bengals. Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree also called out Harrison for crossing enemy lines into New England, as the teams were expected to match up in the AFC Championship game before Pittsburgh lost to the Jaguars in an upset.

Harrison picked up two sacks and forced a fumble in the Patriots’ regular-season finale. He also recorded seven tackles in the Pats’ three playoff games, including one in their Super Bowl loss to the Eagles.

Harrison previously announced his retirement after a one-year stint with the Bengals in 2014, but returned to Pittsburgh for the following season.

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