Despite the heated accusations launched by former teammates at how James Harrison orchestrated his release by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the longtime veteran is paying it no mind. There are always two sides to every story, and Harrison's adds up pretty well when you consider the type of player he has been his whole career.

The fact that he signed with the rival New England Patriots only adds fuel to the fire. The team that just came into Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and won a game that will likely determine home-field advantage in the playoffs. Of course, the conspiracy theories are flying.

Why would he want out?

James Harrison has always been a vicious competitor during his career. This is a guy who publicly scolded his son for accepting a participation trophy for playing pee wee football. The last thing he would ever want to do is suit up and not play.

The idea that he signed a contract at age 39 to just collect a paycheck did not sit well with him. He signed because he knew he could still play at an elite level. Being inactive, or worse suiting up for a few snaps here and there was no way for Harrison to be utilized.

According to him, he asked for his release several times and was told no. He expressed a desire to play. If the team really had no role for him, the respectful thing to do would be to allow him to move on.

Especially considering how long he has played in Pittsburgh. Instead, they cut him with a week to go with no guarantee that they would bring him back.

New England called and said they wanted him, and it was a done deal.

Ruined legacy

Former teammates claim that he ruined his legacy by going to New England. It is no secret how the two teams dislike each other, but the hate on Harrison is misplaced.

Pittsburgh literally did nothing all season to show him he was wanted. Once they cut him, the best they could do was say stay in shape if we feel like we might possibly have a need somewhere for you.

That is hardly inspiring. Making it seem like it was all on him and he forced his way out of town is an insult to the career he has had.

Switch to New England, and they say how they do want him and that they do have a need that he can fill and why wouldn't he sign. In a league where players have their careers taken from them before they are ready to go all too often, it should be applauded when a player like Harrison uses his talents to maximize his potential.

If he is able to be a contributing factor on a strong but banged up defense, he can likely write a whole new chapter in what has surely been a Hall of Fame career.