Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison reportedly met with the New England Patriots today, just days after he was released by the Steelers to make room for right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who is returning from suspension.

According to ESPN, Harrison cleared waivers on Monday and is now officially a free agent - paving the way for him to sign with the Patriots prior to the start of the playoffs.

Harrison, 39, is the Steelers all-time sacks leader with 80.5, including at least five in each of the last three regular seasons despite playing a part-time role, according to ESPN. His role with the Steelers further decreased this season, playing just 40 snaps through 14 games this season, as players like T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree received more playing time.

Harrison, now in his 15th NFL season, played nearly every year season of his NFL career with the Steelers, with the lone exception being the 2013 season which he spent with the division rival Cincinnati Bengals. 

The Patriots' front seven could certainly use a veteran pass rusher like Harrison and it would be fitting if he signed with Bill Belichick's squad considering the two teams, both 12-3, are on track to square off in the AFC championship game.

New England, having beaten Pittsburgh in Week 15, currently holds the No.1 seed in the AFC.

UPDATE: