Intentional or not we may never know, but Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's wallet is a lot lighter today.
The NFL fined Tomlin $100,000 Wednesday after he appeared to interfere with play during the Thanksgiving game against the Baltimore Ravens. The league also announced the Steelers could still lose or have a draft pick modified due to Tomlin's actions. (Via NFL)
The fine comes after Tomlin got in the path of Ravens returner Jacoby Jones during a kickoff. Jones was breaking free down the sideline as Tomlin stood close to the field. It appears Tomlin's positioning slowed Jones down just enough for defenders to catch him.
A new video angle released by KDKA earlier this week appears to show Tomlin intentionally taking a stride closer to the field as Jones brings the ball down the sideline. Tomlin says it was accidental, stating he was watching the return on the Jumbotron.
"My descriptions of my actions on that play are a lot of things. Embarrassing. Inexcusable. Illegal. A blunder. ... I take full responsibility for my actions on that play." (Via WSEE)
It's a hefty fine for the Steelers coach, but the NFL has been known not to tolerate sideline interference with on-field action.
In 2010, Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi intentionally tripped a Dolphins player covering a punt. He was fined $25,000 by the league and suspended for the remainder of the season. He resigned at the end of that season. (Via ABC)
Tomlin makes somewhere between $5.5-6 million a year, so to put that fine into perspective, ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell tweets, "Fining Mike Tomlin $100,000 is the equivalent of fining the avg American $688."
Tomlin did not receive a suspension from the league. He's expected to be on the sideline, although further back, when Pittsburgh plays the Miami Dolphins Sunday.