Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin may have some explaining to do after James Harrison's explosive claim. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

James Harrison: Mike Tomlin 'handed me an envelope' after $75K defenseless hit fine

Can the National Football League fine a retired player and current coach for something that happened 10 years after the fact?

We may soon find out.

 While playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fall of 2010, linebacker James Harrison delivered a crunching head-to-head blow to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi: 

The NFL responded by handing Harrison a $75,000 fine for striking a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area, the largest on-the-field financial penalty of his career. 

As documented by Ken Carman of Cleveland sports talk radio station 92.3 The Fan, Harrison spoke about the matter on the “Going Deep” podcast.

Harrison said: "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 him because I wanted him to let loose of the ball. If I had known they was going to fine me $75,000, I would have tried to kill him. Dude. I’m telling you. 75?

“I ain’t gonna lie to you. 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. I ain’t going to say what, but he handed me an envelope after that.”

The fall is a festive season, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas events celebrated throughout the closing quarter of any year. Perhaps Tomlin merely gave his defensive stud a card to commemorate one of those occasions. Maybe Harrison didn't own a printer in the dark days of 2010, and Tomlin did a player a solid via a word-processing program. 

Well, we're sure Tomlin helped Harrison out, whatever was in that envelope. What are friends for? 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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