Pittsburgh Steelers cut all-time sacks leader James Harrison

Dec 23 (The Sports Xchange) - The Pittsburgh Steelers released James Harrison, the franchise's all-time sack leader, on Saturday to make room for the return of right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

Gilbert had been suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Harrison, 39, had 80 1/2 sacks in a Pittsburgh uniform, and he had at least five sacks in each of the previous three regular seasons even though his playing time was reduced.

He played in just five games this season and had one sack.

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NFL legend James Harrison
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 21: Linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on December 21, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Chiefs 20-12. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sits on the field after sacking Kellen Clemens #10 of the St. Louis Rams after during the Christmas Eve game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison lays on the ground after scoring a touchdown after intercepting a pass against the Arizona Cardinals at the end of the second quarter during the NFL's Super Bowl XLIII football game in Tampa, Florida, February 1, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 15: James Harrison #92 (left) of the Pittsburgh Steelers and outside linebacker coach Joey Porter before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on November 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09: Linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers follows the action against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 2: NBC Sports Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya interviews linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers after a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on November 2, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Ravens 43-23. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 12, 2014: Linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks down the sideline during a game against the Cleveland Browns on October 12, 2014 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won 31-10. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 28: Linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the field before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Heinz Field on September 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Buccaneers defeated the Steelers 27-24. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 29: Linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field on August 29, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 20: Linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on November 20, 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Bengals 27-10. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) looks on during the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 8, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire)
Dec 31, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots outside linebacker James Harrison (92) during the second quarter of their 26-6 win over the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: James Harrison #92 of the New England Patriots sacks Bryce Petty #9 of the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: James Harrison #92 of the New England Patriots reacts after the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Chris Hogan #15 of the New England Patriots celebrates with James Harrison #92 after winning the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, said Harrison, who signed a two-year contract in March, wants to continue to play.

"There was no animosity or bad feelings," Parise told ESPN. "It's just the business of the NFL. I believe he still wants to play. We'll have to wait and see what happens with waivers."

Harrison was the 2008 NFL defensive player of the year and was named to the Pro Bowl five times in his 14-year career. His 100-yard interception return in Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals broke the record for the longest play in Super Bowl history.

Harrison played just 40 snaps through 14 games this season after playing 587 snaps last year.

For his career, Harrison has 82 1/5 sacks, including two with Cincinnati, as well as eight interceptions.

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