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James Harrison calls it a career

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Updated: 8/30 11:15 am

(SportsNetwork.com) - Former Pittsburgh Steelers star linebacker James Harrison has decided to retire.

Harrison, who spent 10 seasons in Pittsburgh and played last year with Cincinnati, made the announcement Saturday on his Facebook page.

"I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today," Harrison wrote. "My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career.

"My love for the game isn't strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school. I am retiring as a man who is truly grateful for all of his blessings. I am sincerely thankful to the people who have supported me over the years, first and foremost my family, the Rooney family and my Steeler family, also Mr. Brown, the Bengals organization and fans, and last but FAR from least, Steeler Nation. Thank you."

Signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002 and released the following year, Harrison became one of the team's leaders when he returned in 2004 and helped the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl titles in his 10 seasons.

Harrison started 95 of the 131 games he played with the Steelers and ranks fourth in franchise history with 64 sacks. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, earned five straight trips to the Pro Bowl from 2007-11 and was named First-Team All-Pro twice.

The 36-year-old Kent State product also played 12 postseason games with the Steelers and registered the longest interception return in Super Bowl history with a 100-yard touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

Harrison joined division-rival Cincinnati last season and helped the Bengals to the AFC North crown, amassing 30 tackles with two sacks and an interception in 15 games.

The Bengals released him in March.

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