The “logic” employed by sports teams can beggar belief.
T Max Starks is a free agent. OLB James Harrison has two years left on a contract that will pay him $6.57m in 2013 and count $10m against the salary cap.
Starks, 31, played very well, starting all 16 games. He allowed just three sacks and committed just three penalties.
Harrison, 34, was plagued by injury. He started 13 games but was nowhere near 100 percent. He registered just six sacks, his lowest total since 2006.
Who was more valuable? Starks. Who has a brighter future? No sure thing, but I’d bet on Starks.
But Harrison will stay – albeit it at a reduced contract rate – and Starks will be allowed to walk.
Does that make sense? I don’t think so.
Consider that the Steelers are likely to take an outside linebacker in the first round of the draft, and it makes even less sense.
Yinzer Nation will back the Steelers: “Oh, you got to keep Harrison.”
Why? I’d love to hear an answer that makes sense. I’d love to hear a good reason for parting company with perhaps your most consistent offensive lineman in favor of a has-been linebacker.
Oh, the decisions aren’t related? Separate questions, then: Why keep Harrison? Why let Starks leave?
Harrison is not a sentimental man, nor deserving of sentiment. Starks is just GOOD.