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#pounditThursday, May 13, 2021

James Harrison hints Mike Tomlin gave him cash reward for Mohamed Massaquoi hit

Mike Tomlin

James Harrison was fined numerous times throughout his NFL career for vicious hit on opposing players, but at least one of those shots may have earned him a reward from former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

Harrison was a guest on the “Going Deep” podcast with Steven Cheah and former Steeler Willie Colon this week. The former linebacker was asked about the largest fine he ever received for a hit, and he said it was when the NFL fined him $75,000 for his headshot on former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010. While the hit cost him a lot of money, Harrison hinted that Tomlin gave him a cash reward for it.

“I ain’t gonna lie to you — when that happened, the G’est thing Mike Tomlin ever did, he handed me an envelope after that,” Harrison said. “I ain’t gonna say what, but he handed me an envelope after that.”

Harrison would not confirm or deny that Tomlin gave him money, but that was certainly the implication. Perhaps Tomlin was trying to help Harrison cover the cost of the fine rather than rewarding him for the hit, but either way that is a big issue in the NFL.

We all remember what happened to the New Orleans Saints when they were found guilty of implementing a bounty system on opposing players. It’s too much of a leap to say Tomlin has done that with players, but Harrison’s story about getting an envelope for a ruthless hit certainly isn’t a good look for the Steelers coach.

Here’s the hit Harrison was referring to:

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