Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/19/13
Former Steeler James Harrison has reportedly hooked on with a division rival. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the linebacker agreed to a two-year deal with the Bengals on Friday. Harrison, who has been a free agent since Pittsburgh released him on March 9, had been in talks with Cincinnati for the better part of two weeks. Prospects of his signing looked bleak earlier this week, though, as several media outlets reported that the negotiations were “not going well.” One of the most dominant defensive players of the past half-decade, Harrison has spent his entire 10-year career with the Steelers. He was named to five consecutive Pro Bowls (2007-11) and won a pair of Super Bowls with Pittsburgh — returning an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in the Super Bowl XLIII win over Arizona. Though Harrison tied for the team lead with six sacks last season, that total was his lowest since 2006. Pittsburgh elected to release him after he refused to renegotiate his $6.57 million contract. In Cincinnati, Harrison projects to fill the void of outside linebacker Manny Lawson, who signed with Buffalo this offseason. The Bengals and James Harrison have a deal, I'm told— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2013 And so, @jharrison9292 has a two-year deal with the #Bengals. Wonder how he'll feel about facing the #Steelers twice in 2013...— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2013 Harrison took to Twitter himself Friday afternoon to express his excitement over the signing. Whodey!!!!!!!!!!! Hello Cincinnati!!!!— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) April 19, 2013    

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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