What’s the State of Negotiations Between the Steelers and James Harrison

Click through the pages (or leaf through them if you’re lucky enough) of Pittsburgh’s two newspapers, and you’ll find plenty of coverage of the Steelers attempts to resign James Harrison.

Most of the stories have taken, “sure, it’s a business negotiation, but all of us want to get the deal done and so its all hunky dory” tone. On Wednesday of last week, the Post-Gazette reported that things had hit a snag of sorts, namely that the complexities of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement were making the structuring of the contract difficult.

But all else was well, as indicated by the quote from James Harrison’s agent Bill Parise that Bouchette used to close his article:

“It’s very hard,” Parise said. “We’re trying to do stuff and working hard at it. We’re going to get it done but have to be really smart guys.”

Contrast that with what Parise told ESPN.

James Walker ran as story on ESPN.com which painted a different picture, beginning with the title of his article “Issue Over Money, Not Length.”

Parise explicitly told ESPN that the two sides were “not close.” One of the quotes they attribute to them is even more attention catching:

“We’re talking and meeting pretty regularly, almost daily, but we’re having a difficult time getting to where we need to be,” Parise said. “I would say talks are progressing but not necessarily yielding the results that we would
expect.”

Hard to really know what to make of this. It’s not uncommon for media figures to adopt one tone when speaking with the local media and another with the national press, Bill Cowher seemed to do it all the time.

But here Parise is almost saying two completely different things. While this is unlikely to have any real impact on the outcome of negotiations, one would think that he would realize that we are in the age of the internet, and that a fair portion it’s pretty easy to spot such glaring inconsistencies.

Perhaps there’s another explanation for this. If there is, it would be interesting to know.

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