The deal ends a somewhat contentious negotiation between Harrison and the Bengals, which at one point was reported as not going well. However, head coach Marvin Lewis remained positive throughout the process.
"I think both sides would like to get something concluded. I think it will happen shortly at some point here," Lewis said to the Bengals’ team website. "Not long. Because I think everybody realizes when we go into the draft, then it becomes different situations."
Harrison was released by the Steelers in March after refusing to take a pay cut. He had six sacks in the 2012 season. Now, he’s going to one of Pittsburgh’s rivals in the AFC North. Was this move a revenge ploy? Harrison hasn’t said anything that would indicate that, but one of his new Bengals teammates earlier hinted as much to USA Today.
"He hates the Steelers now, and that’s somebody we need on our side," Carlos Dunlap said.
Another Bengals player, Domata Peko, couldn’t wait for a deal to go through.
"He would fit right in over here. One of the things I like about him is he brings that intensity and swagger to the defense," Peko said to USA Today. "Whenever I watch him play, he is knocking people’s heads off. That’s what you want on that team. With Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, those are a lot of playmakers out there and to add someone like Harrison would be awesome for us."
Harrison was an undrafted free agent out of Kent State in 2002. During his time in the league, he has been a four-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion.