James Harrison released by Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker James Harrison (92) during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium.

Andrew Weber/Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The James Harrison experiment with the Cincinnati Bengals lasted just one season.

The Bengals released Harrison on Thursday. Harrison tweeted goodbye to the organization and Bengals fans Thursday morning before the release was made official.

Harrison was just a role player with the Bengals. After excelling as a 3-4 outside linebacker and pass rusher with the Steelers, he played outside linebacker in Cincinnati’s 4-3 base defense. He had two sacks in 15 games.

In 11 seasons, Harrison has 66 career sacks. He got 45 of those between 2007-10.

Harrison will be 36 in May. He’s an undrafted free agent success story, twice cut by the Steelers and once by the Ravens before finding a role in Pittsburgh and winning the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. His 100-yard interception return against the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII is one of the top plays in Super Bowl history.

"It was great for our coaches, players and fans to have James on our team last year," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "He’s a player everyone looks up to because of his ability, his accomplishments and his drive to be the best. He helped us win a division title with his play and with the example he set.

"It’s time for us to go a different direction now, with some younger guys, but we will all still reap benefits from having had James with us as a Bengal last year."

Harrison is a native of Akron, Ohio, and played collegiately at Kent State.