Patriots' James Harrison: 'I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41'

New England Patriots outside linebacker James Harrison, the oldest defensive player in the NFL at age 39, has no plans to make next Sunday's Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles his last game.

Harrison, who turns 40 in May, thinks he can play the 2018 season -- and perhaps the 2019 season as well.

"I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41," Harrison told ESPN's Mike Reiss earlier in week.

Harrison spent 14 seasons with the Steelers before being waived and signing with the Patriots on Dec. 26.

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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 has played 89 defensive snaps in three games with the Patriots, including the postseason, totaling 11 tackles and two sacks as he continues to show he can deliver pressure off the edge in passing situations.

Harrison played only 38 snaps through the Steelers' first 14 games, compared to 587 last season. That represented 13 percent of the team's total defensive snaps at the time of his release.

"At some point in time, I'm going to have to stop (playing)," Harrison told ESPN, explaining why it's probably two years maximum. "I told my son (James III) he could play contact football when I stop, so I'm going to have to give it up in the near future, so he can start getting adjusted to playing. I don't want him to wait too long.

"He's already 10, and then he'll be playing against kids who have been doing it for four or five years, contact football, and they'll know how to take a hit and give a hit. To have a kid come into high school, or even be 14, 15 years old and have been playing since they were 10, that puts him at a disadvantage, especially just safety-wise."

Harrison has 84.5 career sacks -- 80.5 of which have come in 177 games over 14 seasons in a Steelers uniform. He had 2.0 sacks in his lone season with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013. He returned to Pittsburgh in 2014 and produced at least 5.0 sacks for three consecutive seasons before making just one sack with the Steelers in 2017.

Harrison signed a one-year deal with the Patriots and will be a free agent after the season.

--Field Level Media

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