James Harrison has continued to stir the pot with his recent allegations that Mike Tomlin paid him after his hit on Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010. Today, he took to Instagram to clarify and rebuke the notion that Tomlin paid Harrison as part of a bounty.
Here is Harrison’s post.
His caption, in part, reads:
“Mike T. Has NEVER paid me for hurting someone or TRYING to hurt someone or put a bounty on ANYBODY! If you knew the full story of what happened back then you’d know that BS fine for a Legal Play wasn’t even penalized during the game. The league was getting pressure because the first concussion lawsuits were starting and they had to look like they cared about player safety all of a sudden… EVERYBODY knew it – even these same media people and all the fans that were sending money to me and the team to cover the fine. AGAIN AT NO TIME did Mike T. EVER suggest anybody hurt anybody or that they’d be rewarded for anything like that. GTFOH with that BS!!!”
Harrison is essentially saying that Tomlin and the Steelers paid for Harrison’s fine after the league levied down a nearly unprecedented $75,000 penalty for the hit. In Harrison’s view, the league was quickly changing the scope of its rules in response to concussion lawsuits, an attempt to clean up their image and get rid of the game’s most vicious hits. That is much different than BountyGate, where New Orleans Saints’ coaches deliberately instructed players to injure opponents.
Still, what Harrison is accusing Tomlin of doing would be illegal per NFL rules. Steelers’ owner Art Rooney II denied anything like that ever occurred while Harrison’s agent Bill Parise says he has no knowledge of Deebo’s claim.
It’s unclear if the NFL will investigate these allegations but this probably isn’t the last time we’ll be talking about this story. With the sports world at a standstill, there’s not much else to discuss.