James Harrison announces retirement from football

Updated:

PITTSBURGH - Former Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison is retiring.

The former Steelers linebacker made the announcement Saturday via social media.

Harrison, 36, posted the following message to his Facebook page:

“I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today. 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.”

Harrison was released from the Steelers in March 2013.

During his time with the team, Harrison was named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.