CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Linebacker James Harrison, an Akron native who went onto Kent State before being picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers, said head coach Mike Tomlin handed him an envelope a decade ago, after Harrison viciously knocked Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi out of a game.
“Listen, on everything I love, on my daddy’s grave, I hit that man with about 50 percent of what I had and I just hit him because I wanted him to let loose of the ball,” Harrison told Barstool Sports’ “Going Deep” podcast.
Massaquoi was taken to the locker room with a concussion after the helmet-to-helmet tackle in 2010, and Harrison was fined $75,000.
“And, I ain’t gonna lie to you, when that happened, right? the G-est thing Mike Tomlin ever did, he handed me an envelope after that.”
However, Harrison did not specify what was in the envelope.
At that time 10 years ago, New Orleans Saints players were getting bonuses in exchange for hits that caused injuries.
Steelers President Art Rooney II denied the claim, saying “I am very certain nothing like this ever happened,” according to ProFootballTalk. “I have no idea why James would make a comment like this but there is simply no basis for believing anything like this.”
The NFL has not yet commented publicly on Harrison’s interview.