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FORT WORTH, Texas — Looking back, Steelers OLB James Harrison admits that his flirtation with retirement earlier this season was an overreaction to the frustration he felt after being fined $75,000 in October for an illegal hit.
Seated at a table during a session with the media Thursday in the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on the TCU campus, Harrison said he was serious about calling it quits at the time. He has vowed not to change his style of play, even though it may cost him.
He has continued to be an outspoken critic of commissioner Roger Goodell and what some players consider to be a hypocritical effort by the league to better protect players.
Harrison says he's "a little bitter" that his fourth straight Pro Bowl season has been overshadowed a bit by the $100,000 in fines he racked up during the regular season.
PFW asked Harrison, 32, how long he plans to continue playing in a league that he feels has done him wrong.
"To sit here and say I want to play as long as I can is not true," Harrison said. "I want to try to play out my contract, and if I get that done, I'm through. Like I said, everybody has to take into account their own health and think about things. With all the concussion stuff that's out, if I was that worried about it, I'd walk away right now and say, 'Here, take it. It's not worth it, and I'm worried about my health.'
"Right now I'm going to take my chances and live with whatever I have to live with later on down the line. Hope I come back better than most."
Harrison's deal, which he signed in April '09, runs through 2014.
"I'm not going to sign another contract," he said. "... I don't want to be that guy at 40 having to get every joint in my body replaced because it's tore up."