The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Saturday that they released linebacker James Harrison.
“We have informed James Harrison that we have released him,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “James has been an integral part of our success during his years in Pittsburgh and has helped us win two Lombardi trophies during that time. We appreciate all of his efforts and wish him the best.”
The Steelers were reportedly trying to lower Harrison’s salary cap number. He was scheduled to make $6.57 million this year.
Harrison, 35, had six sacks in 2012, his lowest total since becoming a full-time starter in 2007. He also snapped a streak of five straight Pro Bowls.
“James has played a major role in the success of this organization during his time in Pittsburgh,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “I appreciate everything he has done in my six years as head coach and wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Harrison earlier announced that he was being released via Twitter.
“It’s been a great run but all good things must come to a end. Thank you Steelers Nation I will miss you all!” he wrote.
Harrison’s agent Bill Parise was blunt about the move.
“It breaks our heart,” he said.
Harrison signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002 and started 95 of 131 games with 64 sacks. He was the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 after registering a team-record 16 sacks. He also played in 12 postseason games, including two Super Bowl victories.