James Harrison traded black and gold for red, white and blue Tuesday, signing with the New England Patriots three days after being waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Before the Patriots could officially announce the signing, Harrison did the honors himself, posting an Instagram photo of himself and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady inside the New England locker room.
“Finally,” the veteran outside linebacker wrote. “A teammate that’s older than me!”
Harrison, 39, is the oldest active defensive player in the NFL. Brady, who celebrated his 40th birthday this past summer, is the league’s oldest offensive player.
Harrison is in his 15th NFL season — 14 with the Steelers and one (2013) with the Cincinnati Bengals. That one year in Cincinnati was one of the least productive of his career, as it marked the only time in the past decade that he failed to record five sacks in a season.
It’s highly unlikely Harrison, who has played in just five games this season and recorded one sack, will reach that mark this season, but he should help a Patriots defense that lacks proven edge players outside of defensive end Trey Flowers. Harrison has a wealth of playoff experience, winning two Super Bowl rings during his time in Pittsburgh.
The Patriots, who already have clinched a first-round playoff bye, will close out the regular season this Sunday against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports Images