James Harrison says he'll return to Steelers

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (TNS)

James Harrison is coming back for one more year.

The Steelers linebacker announced on Monday that he will return for his 14th season — 13 of which have been with the Steelers.

“If James says he's back, James is back,” Harrison's agent Bill Parise said. “James and I have had many, many, many, many discussions over a long period of time so we knew where we were and where he wanted to be.”

Harrison said via social media: “I'll be 38 on Wednesday and I'm feeling just like a fine wine. Getting better with age.”

Harrison was uncertain if he would return this year because he wasn't sure how his body would react to a six-week offseason training session in preparation for the season. The six-week period in which he worked out in Scottsdale, Ariz,, ended on Sunday.

Harrison is currently en route back to Pittsburgh. The second phase of the offseason workouts began on Monday.

The Steelers were anticipating Harrison's return for months now. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert first suggested that Harrison would be back before the NFL Combine in February.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin joked during this week's draft that Harrison was “working out awful hard for a retired guy, isn't he?”

QB Gradkowski re-signs with Steelers: The Steelers didn't address their backup quarterback need in the draft, but that has led to the team bringing back a familiar face.

The Steelers will re-sign free agent quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, an industry source confirmed to the Tribune-Review.

The Steelers made it official on Monday morning when they announced a one-year deal for Gradkowski.

Gradkowski, a Seton-La Salle graduate and Green Tree native, played three years (2013-15) for the Steelers but managed only seven snaps (no pass attempts) before injuring his hand in the preseason last year. The injury required surgery and landed him on injured reserve.

While on IR, Gradkowski, 33, underwent shoulder surgery that complicated matters if the Steelers planned to sign the free agent.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said last week Gradkowski worked out for the team recently and his throwing was “satisfactory.”

Colbert said the Steelers wouldn't make a decision on their backup quarterback until after the draft.

Gradkowski has played only 37 games in his 10 years. He hasn't started since 2010 while with the Raiders.

Gradkowski will compete with Landry Jones for the backup spot behind Ben Roethlisberger, who missed parts of eight games last season. Jones is in the final year of his rookie deal.