Netizens expect the New England Patriots to snag veteran linebacker James Harrison after he was released by AFC closest rival Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday. Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com reported that the Steelers parted ways with the two-time All-Pro linebacker Harrison to make room for tackle Marcus Gilbert, who will return Sunday after he was activated from the Reserve/Suspended by Commissioner List to the active roster. Harrison later confirmed on Instagram about his release, saying ‘can't wait to find out what God has in store for me next.” He also thanked the Steelers nation for the years of love and support. This season, Harrison played just 40 snaps in five games, losing snaps to rookie linebacker T.J. Watt, who beat him for the starting job in the preseason.

Patriots to sign Harrison?

Several sports writers tweeted about the possibility of the Patriots signing the 39-year-old Harrison, the Steelers’ all-time leader in sacks. Evan Lazar of Sports Illustrated tweeted that he sees Harrison taking down Ben Roethlisberger for a big fourth-quarter sack in the AFC Championship Game as a member of the Patriots. Alex Kozora of SteelersDepot.com, for his part, said he will not be able to handle it if the Patriots sign Harrison to a contract.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus said Harrison will be the best edge defender on the Patriots roster if he signs with New England.

Monson also expects Harrison to go off against Pittsburgh in case they face off for the AFC title. Recently, the Patriots signed veteran tight end Martellus Bennett [VIDEO]after he was released by the Green Bay Packers. Harrison will be a huge addition for the Patriots, who currently lack a pass-rushing threat.

Harrison is Steelers all-time leader in sacks

The Steelers signed Harrison as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002. Harrison then started 107-of-177 regular-season games for the Steelers and 117-of-192 in his NFL career. He played 13 of his 14 NFL seasons with the Steelers and one with the Cincinnati Bengals. He is the Steelers’ all-time leader in sacks with 80.5, good for eighth among active players. In his career, Harrison has 82.5 sacks, eight interceptions and 570 tackles. Harrison was a five-time Pro Bowler in his career.

Earlier this month, Michele Tafoya of NBC Sports spoke with Harrison, who expressed his disappointment over his lack of playing time. This season, he was inactive for six games and was listed as did not play for two more. Harrison told Tafoya that if he had known that he will not see much action this season, he would have played somewhere else. In October, Harrison had the same sentiment when he spoke with Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I want to go out there and compete. I'm not still playing this game because I want to stand on the sideline,” said Harrison.