The steepest of the four fines the former Steelers linebacker James Harrison incurred in 2010 stemmed from the vicious helmet-to-helmet strike he shipped on Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, knocking him out with a concussion. The hit went without having penalty on the sector, though the N.F.L., intent on meting out stiffer discipline for violations of participant basic safety, docked Harrison $75,000 — not less than many of which, Harrison claimed on a podcast Thursday, was offset by his coach, Mike Tomlin.
Harrison, appearing on Barstool Sports activities’s “Likely Deep” podcast, informed his former Pittsburgh teammate Willie Colon that Tomlin — who still coaches the Steelers — slipped him an envelope soon once the high-quality was levied.
“Dude, I’m telling you — 75,” Harrison claimed, referencing the quantity of the wonderful. “And that i ain’t gonna lie to you: When that happened, correct, the G-est matter Mike Tomlin at any time did, he handed me an envelope following that. I ain’t gonna say what, but he handed me an envelope following that.”
Harrison recounted the story unprompted, following Colon questioned him regarding the heftiest great he absorbed across his 15 N.F.L. seasons.
“Hear, on everything I really like, on my daddy’s grave, I strike that guy with about max fifty per cent of what I had,” Harrison claimed of Massaquoi. “And I just strike him mainly because I needed him to Permit loose on the ball. If I had understood they was gonna good me $seventy five,000, I might have made an cheap authentic jerseys elite effort to kill him.”
Harrison’s fine was later on lowered to $fifty,000. Even though Harrison did not explicitly say just what the envelope contained, the mere insinuation that Tomlin compensated him in any way evoked comparison on the so-termed Bountygate scandal, through which the New Orleans Saints’ coaching staff was resolute about a three-calendar year period of time to own supplied payouts to defensive players who injured opponents, according to a league investigation. The Saints’ mentor, Sean Payton, didn't pay players himself, but the league suspended him for any yr, partly, for not halting the process just after he was created mindful of it.
It is actually unclear whether or not the league will go over the make a difference with Harrison and Tomlin; a spokesman with the N.F.L. declined to comment on Friday. League regulations stipulate that groups and its customers are prohibited from paying a player’s wonderful.
In a statement, Steelers President Art Rooney II said he was beneficial that Harrison’s allegations are untrue. “I'm incredibly sure nothing at all such as this ever happened,” Rooney reported. “I do not know why James would make a comment such as this, but there's merely no basis for believing just about anything like this.”
Harrison on Friday posted an announcement to his Instagram account that seemingly walked again his earlier comment. “Mike T. Has not paid me for hurting another person or Attempting to hurt somebody or set a bounty on Any one!” it read through.
Harrison, along with the Hall of Fame security Troy Polamalu, was the snarling facial area from the Steelers’ defense while in the 2000s, when they won two Tremendous Bowls. The league’s defensive player in the year in 2008, Harrison developed a reputation for administering violent hits that teetered within the boundaries of legality. Once the hit on Massaquoi in 2010, Harrison and Tomlin argued that it absolutely was clear and didn’t benefit a high-quality. Tomlin, at the time, also claimed he favored harder penalties and rule variations to enhance player safety.
A member in the N.File.L.’s competition committee, Payton, and the Saints’ Business, have experienced a combative relationship While using the league considering the fact that Bountygate, and it has only deepened, once the egregious non-get in touch with that likely denied New Orleans a Super Bowl berth following the 2018 season. All through a radio job interview on Thursday, Payton all but challenged N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell to analyze the Steelers, indicating he can be “shocked” if the league did and that individuals “shouldn’t hold their breath” looking forward to it to take action.
“I do think what occurred with us back in 2011 in so numerous ways was a sham, and but there wasn’t lots we could do with it,” Payton reported on one hundred and five.7 FM in Baltimore. “The players were being vindicated, but from a league or coaching standpoint, there is not any union, there's no illustration.”
He added, “That’ll be something that’s tucked away or beneath the rug at Park Avenue. They’ll investigate it briefly. Hear, don’t get me commenced on that. I missing $6 million in salary, and Truthfully it had been a thing that I’ll hardly ever truly recover from because I understand how it was handled And the way it absolutely was run and The explanations behind it. That’s just the truth.”