Pittsburg Steelers great James Harrison is a character.
For 15 seasons, the same guy who can bench press 500 pounds mauled any man that stood before him on his way to becoming a Pro Bowl linebacker for six different teams before calling it a career in 2017. Along the way, he made plenty of big hits and maimed just about everyone but his own mother, so of course he had an answer on deck when the hosts of the Going Deep with Chad and JT podcast asked him about the biggest fine he had ever received during his playing days.
His answer? The brutal helmet-to-helmet exorcism he performed on Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010—which you can watch here if you want to see a dead body—that cost him $75,000.
“Listen, everything I love, on my daddy’s grave, I hit that man with about, max, 50 percent of what I had, and I just hit because I wanted him to let loose of the ball,” he recalled. “If I had known they were going to fine me $75,000, I would have tried to kill him. Dude, I’m telling you, 75?”
He continued, “I ain’t going to lie to you. When that happened, right? The G-est thing [Pittsburg Steeler’s coach] Mike Tomlin ever did, he handed me an envelope after that. I ain’t going to say what, but he handed me an envelope after that.”
After all the controversy over 2012’s “Bountygate,” in which New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams were suspended until Jesus comes for cashing out Saints players who injured their opponents, did Harrison just insinuate…
“Absolutely not. Never happened,” Bill Parise, Harrison’s longtime agent, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I would have known that. It didn’t happen.”
Okay, but he said…
“I am very certain nothing like this ever happened,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. “I have no idea why James would make a comment like this, but there is simply no basis for believing anything like this.”
Perhaps sensing an NFL investigation was looming, Mr. Monday Night himself unleashed a lengthy tirade on Instagram to clarify his comments.
“Wow y’all really comparing what I said to BOUNTYGATE?!? Mike T. Has NEVER paid me for hurting someone or TRYING to hurt someone or put a bounty on ANYBODY!” he posted. “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!!!”
Then what was in the envelope?
If Harrison says that Tomlin never paid him to hurt players then I guess we’ll roll with it. But he’s gotta be much more mindful of what he says, and how it can be interpreted, or else people like Tomlin can get caught up some in some bullshit—as if black people don’t have enough problems.
But what was in that envelope though? The streets wanna know.