-- PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger?says he does not hold bitterness toward James Harrison for signing with the New England Patriots.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, standing in a quiet locker room Wednesday morning, instead praised Harrison for his franchise-record 80? sacks in a black-and-gold uniform.
"James has to do what James has to do. It's not like he called and asked me if he should or not," Roethlisberger said. "James was out there -- he's a free agent, he has to do what's best for him and his family. I wish him the best. I've had a lot of good years with him."
The Steelers released Harrison on Saturday to make room for right tackle Marcus Gilbert's return from suspension. Three days later, hours before Harrison signed with New England and took a selfie with Tom Brady, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he simply needed the other players on his roster.
Harrison could share Steelers information with his new team if he'd like, but Roethlisberger said he isn't overly concerned about that possibility; a potential Steelers-Patriots rematch is nearly a month away. But player intel can be a league-wide issue, with Roethlisberger citing wide receiver Sammie Coates' trade to the Cleveland Browns days before a Week 1 matchup.
The Steelers end the regular season against Cleveland on Sunday.
"That's on James. If they want to ask him about every single piece of information he has, that's what this league -- other people do that, too," Roethlisberger said. "I'm not worried about it. We don't play them this week, we don't play them next week. So we'll see."
Roethlisberger said his wife asked him whether Harrison was familiar with his no-huddle offense. He told her maybe Harrison had a few nuggets but nothing major. Roethlisberger seemed more worried about losing Harrison as a teammate.
"He truly is one of the best to play this game at the outside linebacker position," Roethlisberger said. "Just really struck fear in quarterbacks' eyes. You could see it."