New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison might be old for an NFL player, but he’s not going to let that stop him from playing for a few more seasons.
As rumors began to surface about the idea of the veteran linebacker calling it quits relatively soon, the former Pittsburgh Steelers fixture put to bed any such ideas.
“I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41,” Harrison told Mike Reiss of ESPN.
For context, as of this writing, Harrison is 39-years old.
Harrison did admit that at some point, for various reasons, he will obviously have to call it quits.
“But at some point in time, I’m going to have to stop [playing],” he said, 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 4 or 5 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 left Pittsburgh with 82.5 career sacks, eight interceptions and 570 tackles. Among active players, he is eighth in sacks. His 80.5 sacks in Pittsburgh are a franchise-best — he also had a stint with the Bengals for a season.
Harrison is a five-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro linebacker and two-time Super Bowl champion.