Farrior, who had been with the Steelers since 2002, played in all but 6 games since arriving in Pittsburgh. Farrior was never the premier linebacker that the Steelers are notorious for churning out, but he was a solid player for many years with the Steelers.
Farrior, 37, may decide to call it a career, but his most impressive statistic has been his durability over the years. During three separate seasons with the Steelers, Farrior missed two games, including the 2011 campaign. In his five seasons with the Jets (’97-’01), Farrior missed a total of four games, all of which came in his second year with the team. Considering Farrior’s uncanny ability to stay healthy at one of the most brutal positions in the game, it’s not crazy to think he could sign a short-term contract with a linebacker needy team to extend his career a little longer.
The move to release Farrior should surprise no one. Farrior was due $2.8 million according to Rotoworld, and that’s simply more than the Steelers can afford to pay while trying to hang on to their younger players, most notably, Mike Wallace.
It’s beginning to appear as though the Steelers have pushed their salary cap situation further than they normally intend on doing. Usually, the Steelers are kings of being able to cycle players while pushing the cap year in and year out. Sure, Ward and Smith were both on the decline, but James Farrior has continued to be productive from the beginning of his time with the Steelers until the very end. It’ll be tough to replace that kind of veteran leadership, and we’ll finally get to see just how resilient that organization can be.