The New England Patriots did that thing again.
They did that thing where they bring in an obscure veteran at the end of the season, a guy who usually doesn’t really end up doing anything (Kenny Britt, Malcolm Floyd, etc). But this one has Patriots fans really excited: 39-year-old linebacker James Harrison.
That’s right. They brought in the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker. If this was 2007, y’all would be stoked out of your minds. Even the name now probably makes Patriots fans feel pretty good.
So what kind of impact will Harrison have on the Patriots as a team? If I had to guess, honestly, I’d say absolutely none. He only played 40 snaps all year for the Steelers despite being healthy. BUT-- and here’s where the conspiracy comes in (in short choppy sentences, but bear with me here). Here’s some info:
Harrison spent well over a decade playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are probably the second-best team in the AFC right now. The Patriots always make it to the AFC Championship game. Harrison must know a ton about the Steelers and how they operate. In 2014, the Patriots picked up LeGarrette Blount up after the Steelers released him. Blount is no longer on the team.
So yeah. I think the Patriots signed Harrison for intel on the enemy. The Patriots would’ve signed Blount regardless in 2014, but let’s be honest: what the hell would the Patriots want with a 39-year-old linebacker who isn’t familiar with their scheme?
Does Harrison make the Patriots a better team? He didn’t make the Steelers a better team--and the Patriots are technically a better team than the Steelers. So what other purpose could he serve other than dishing dirt on the Steelers?
Harrison told reporters BB hasn’t asked him about the Steelers yet but hey, the focus is the New York Jets this week.
Great move, Patriots