Steelers' T.J. Watt Says He's Never Seen Mike Tomlin Give Player an Envelope

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 21, 2020

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 29: T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison made waves last week when he accused head coach Mike Tomlin of giving him an envelope after the All-Pro was fined $75,000 for an illegal hit on then-Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010.

"Dude, I'm telling you, 75?" Harrison told Willie Colon on the Going Deep podcast (h/t Ken Carman). "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. I ain't gonna say what, but he handed me an envelope after that."

Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, who was not on the team at the time, told the Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday that he has never seen Tomlin do anything like that:

Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow

Has @_TJWatt ever seen #Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin give anyone envelope? https://t.co/tVpWrMq74E

Watt was selected 30th overall by the Steelers in the 2017 NFL draft.

The 25-year-old All-Pro is not the only one to deny what Harrison suggested:

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

James Harrison's agent denies the ex-Steeler's claim that Mike Tomlin handed him an envelope after he was fined $75,000 for a hit on Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010: "Never happened," per @tribjoerutter https://t.co/Pu8yG5FUON

ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk

Steelers president Art Rooney II, on James Harrison's claim that he received "an envelope" from Mike Tomlin: "I am very certain nothing like this ever happened. I have no idea why James would make a comment like this but there is simply no basis for believing anything like this."

Harrison even downplayed his own comments:

James Harrison @jharrison9292

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

Harrison played for the Steelers from 2002 until his release in December 2017, including a 2013 stint with the Cincinnati Bengals. The New England Patriots signed him for the remainder of the 2017 season. The 42-year-old announced his retirement in April 2018.