James Harrison isn’t happy with how media have reacted to the «envelope» claim.
The former Steelers linebacker, appearing on Barstool’s «Going Deep» podcast on Thursday, said Mike Tomlin gave him an envelope in 2010 after he was fined $75,000 for a non-penalized hit that concussed Browns receiver Mohamad Massaquoi. Though he never expressly mentioned any bounties, many took his comments to mean Tomlin had paid him for the hit — similar to the Saints’ Bountygate scandal.
Harrison took to Instagram on Friday to set the record straight. In a post that included Google results for his comments, he said the envelope was merely to recoup what he called a «BS» fine — not to indicate there was a bounty program in place in Pittsburgh. He also claimed media members and fans sent him money in response to the fine as well.
MORE: Did Tomlin cover James Harrison’s fine for 2010 hit?
Regardless of the intention, Harrison has only doubled down on the fact that Tomlin broke rules, and perhaps enabled players to continue a style of play that would come under more scrutiny as concerns grew over concussions and CTE.
Steelers owner Art Rooney II and Harrison agent Bill Parise have both denied that such a transaction ever took place. The question now stands as to how, if at all, the NFL will respond to Harrison’s claim. (For what it’s worth, Saints coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for the entire 2012 campaign after New Orleans’ Bountygate scandal, thinks it won’t launch an investigation).