Former Steelers LB James Harrison Announces Retirement

USATSI_8311895_154224518_lowres Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports[/caption]

James Harrison was once considered to be one of the most feared men in the NFL. Some would argue he was a dirty player, but everyone was looking out for him if they crossed the middle of the field.

Today Harrison announced his retirement via his facebook page:

I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today. My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career. My love for the game isn’t strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school. I am retiring as a man who is truly grateful for all of his blessings.

Harrison spent 11 seasons in the NFL, 10 with the Steelers where he became one of the league’s best pass rushers, and one of its most notorious hitters.

From 2007-2011, Harrison made the Pro Bowl five times, was a two-time NFL All-Pro first team member, and won the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2008. He recorded 54 of his 66 career sacks during that five year span.

He was also fined repeatedly for hits on defenseless players, particularly in 2010 when he delivered huge hits, many illegal, to players such as Drew Brees, Vince Young, and Joshua Cribbs.

Nonetheless, Harrison was one of the toughest, most outspoken players in the NFL and his game will be missed.