(KDKA)- Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison stirred up some controversy in an appearance on former teammate Willie Colon’s “Going Deep” podcast when he said that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin handed him “an envelope” following his hit on Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010.
“I’m not going to say what, but he handed me an envelope after that,” Harrison said.
On Thursday night, Steelers president Art Rooney II responded to the claim by telling Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the alleged incident never happened.
“I am very certain nothing like this ever happened,” Rooney said to Rutter. “I have no idea why James would make a comment like this but there is simply no basis for believing anything like this.”
Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise, also denied the claim, telling Rutter that it never happened and he would have known if it did.
Harrison took to Twitter on Friday to say that Tomlin never paid him for hurting someone, or putting a bounty on anybody.
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! If you knew the full story of what happened back then you'd… https://t.co/lWQwDqCGux
— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) May 15, 2020
The relationship between Harrison and Tomlin hit the rocks towards the end of the linebacker’s career with the team after he became frustrated with his playing time in 2017. He was granted his release and then signed with the New England Patriots.
The hit in question landed Harrison a $75,000 fine from the league at the time. The envelope that Harrison alleges he was handed was supposedly meant to cover that fine.