The on again, off again courtship between the Bengals and James Harrison appears to be back on again. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said he thought something would be concluded one way or another by Thursday’s draft with the former Steelers linebacker. After a standstill in talks earlier in the week, negotiations between the two parties have picked up a person informed of the progress of talks told USA TODAY Sports. The person, spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations are continuing and were to remain private. Harrison visited Cincinnati on April 11 and had good discussions with the Bengals. Everyone was optimistic that a deal would get quickly done but they grinded to a halt by Tuesday afternoon. There wasn’t much optimism that the numbers would work for either side. If talks with Harrison were to fall apart again, the Bengals are also interested in Karlos Dansby, who visited here on April 9. Lewis was hopeful of getting one but ruled out signing both. Cincinnati has an opening at outside linebacker after Manny Lawson signed with Buffalo early in free agency. “Either player that comes in, we make some adjustment to things we do and we feel good about them,” said Lewis of Dansby and Harrison. “They bring some playmaking ability to us and would be good to have. They are good men and would continue to enhance the defensive room. Both guys are smart guys and that would be good.” If Harrison were to sign with the Bengals, he would face his former team in a pair of prime-time games. The Week 2 game against the Steelers in Cincinnati will be on a Monday Night (Sept. 16) and the Week 15 contest at Pittsburgh on Dec. 15 will be a Sunday Night game on NBC. It is the first time since 1990, when the Steelers faced the Houston Oilers, that a pair of games against division opponents has been scheduled for prime time.
Marvin Lewis hopeful of signing Smith and either Harrison or Dansby before the draft
Cincinnati Enquirer | Apr 19