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Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians not surprised James Harrison retired

LISTEN: Bruce Arians- Cardinals head coach

A week ago, it looked like the Arizona Cardinals might be adding a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year to their roster.

The team had interest in signing five-time Pro Bowler James Harrison, who spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals after ten great seasons in Pittsburgh.

“I met with James today, we’ll see what happens,” Arians said last Friday. “He’s in good shape.”

However, Harrison chose to retire instead.

Arians said Monday he ultimately wasn’t surprised by Harrison’s decision to hang up the cleats rather than ink a deal with the Cardinals.

“Not after talking to him,” the head coach told Bickley and Marotta Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “His kids had just started school and he would have had to move them out of school to bring them here.”

The Bengals released Harrison in March after one less-than-spectacular season, and Arians feels not being part of a roster since then helped shape the linebacker’s decision.

“I’ve seen it with two or three guys, once they sit six months out and they finally spend some time with their family, it’s very, very hard for them to go back and play,” he said. “James and I were talking and he was showing me pictures of (his kids) going off to school, and I knew at that point in time.

“I said ‘are you really sure you want to do this,’ and he said ‘no.’ I said ‘well, you just answered the question.'”

Harrison then announced his retirement the next day via Facebook.