New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison isn't ready to hang up the cleats just yet.
"I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41," he told ESPN this week.
Harrison, 39, has shown that he's still productive since being signed by the Patriots on Dec. 26. He has played 89 defensive snaps in three games, totaled 11 tackles and delivered consistent pressure off the edge in passing situations.
Harrison said he didn't need that type of performance to prove to himself he could still play at a high level after being used sparingly in Pittsburgh this season. He said his belief in himself never wavered.
"But at some point in time, I'm going to have to stop [playing]," he said, explaining why it's probably two years maximum. "I told my son [James III] he could play contact football when I stop, so I'm going to have to give it up in the near future, so he can start getting adjusted to playing. I don't want him to wait too long.
"He's already 10, and then he'll be playing against kids who have been doing it for 4 or 5 years, contact football, and they'll know how to take a hit and give a hit. To have a kid come into high school, or even be 14, 15 years old and have been playing since they were 10, that puts him at a disadvantage, especially just safety-wise."
In a piece he wrote with Jarrett Bell of USA Today in 2015, Harrison had explained why he wants to be present when his son starts playing football.
He hasn't reached that point yet. A free agent after this season, Harrison told me, "I don't see this being where I want to stop at right now."