Skip to content

Vrabel: NFLPA* would have problem with a fine for James Harrison

NFL And Players Resume Mediation Getty Images

We’ve been asked on various radio shows what we think will happen to James Harrison in the wake of his statements last week.

Florio thinks players should be exempt from punishment for what happens during the lockout, but my guess was that the Steelers would try to handle it in-house, possibly with a fine.  If that happened, the NFLPA* may have a problem with it.

New Ohio State linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, who has been very involved with the lockout, spoke to our friend Tom Curran on WEEI about the issue, saying the NFLPA* would have “an issue” with Harrison being fined.

“I think there are things that you should be able to do and say – more importantly say,” Vrabel said. “[Harrison’s comments are] not conduct detrimental to any team other than if Mike Tomlin had an issue with the way [Harrison] was referring to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Roger’s got big shoulders. Roger understands. I would say to Roger or anybody else that had a problem with it, I would say what Bill Belichick said to us: To [those who] much is given, much is expected. And Roger is given a lot in form of compensation and being in the situation that he’s in so there’s a lot expected of him. And if that means taking the higher road and calling James and trying to figure out how to get this thing settled between them or whatever issue they have going on.”

On this issue, we more or less agree with Vrabel.  We suspect Goodell would have already nipped this issue in the bud if he was allowed to talk to Harrison, and that talk probably wouldn’t have ended in serious punishment.

Permalink 40 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories, Union
40 Responses to “Vrabel: NFLPA* would have problem with a fine for James Harrison”
  1. hawkeye6 says: Jul 18, 2011 12:37 PM

    If the fine Harrison, they have to fine a number of other players for similar said items. Considering Harrison said what he said with no CBA, and there are no rules in place for anything, why would a fine be leveed? Furthermore, would this be a fine for his one issue, or a fine setting a precedence?

    Just sign the damn CBA and stop with the nonesense.

  2. biggerballz says: Jul 18, 2011 12:38 PM

    let him talk he stopped letting his game do the talking two years ago.

  3. jdog21b says: Jul 18, 2011 12:39 PM

    If a regular joe schmo made comments like Harrison did at his work place about ANYONE involved with the business…. would that player not be punished?

    The last couple weeks of player demands, and now this, has been ridiculous. “We don’t want to practice as much, but we want more money to do less… and by the way we should not be punished for our actions either”.

    What Vrabel doesn’t realize is that those words reflect the Steelers Franchise as well, considering he is an employee under contract for them. So if they wanted to punish him, they have the right to. Not really surprising Vrabel doesn’t grasp this, he is from Ohio State.

  4. grpatriot says: Jul 18, 2011 12:39 PM

    Curious to see how long before the end of the season that Harrison is in Goodells office? Over/under week 8…Taking the under…

  5. p4hbiz says: Jul 18, 2011 12:40 PM

    People have the right to say anything that they want too..

  6. mightymightylafootball says: Jul 18, 2011 12:40 PM

    “[Harrison’s comments are] not conduct detrimental to any team…”

    lol wut?

  7. radrhatr says: Jul 18, 2011 12:40 PM

    Vrabel should probably focus more on OSU’s problems, now that he’s retired from the NFL.

  8. joshuavkidd says: Jul 18, 2011 12:42 PM

    but the conduct, and the photo reflect poorly on the NFL, which he shortly will once again be apart of… this is why, all along, I have been on the owner side because the players have this ridiculous air of entitlement about them that frankly, as employees, I don’t understand.

  9. meyerla says: Jul 18, 2011 12:42 PM

    Let the Steelers deal with Harrison. The Steelers are a very good organization and Tomlin is a good coach. They’ll take care of Harrison.

  10. thespeaker08 says: Jul 18, 2011 12:44 PM

    Definitely should fine people doing TD celebrations but not the guys saying he’d gladly watch the commish burn. Logical.

    I guess that’s why Vrabel plays football and we get real degrees.

  11. jdog21b says: Jul 18, 2011 12:45 PM

    @p4hbiz says: Jul 18, 2011 12:40 PM

    People have the right to say anything that they want too..

    —————————————————————

    Until it becomes slander…

  12. benh999 says: Jul 18, 2011 12:47 PM

    Harrison has damaged his own long-term earning potential by far more than any realistic fine could. The only teams that seem to pick up guys like him in free agency are the cheap ones like the Bucs and Bengals.

  13. firethorn1001 says: Jul 18, 2011 12:50 PM

    ‘People have the right to say anything that they want too..’

    Sure, you have the right to say anything you want, but that doesn’t mean words don’t have consequences.

    As for the rest of these offseason issues with players. The NFL will ultimately forgive these lockout issues, but they aren’t going to forget them.

  14. copman40 says: Jul 18, 2011 12:50 PM

    I thought there was no longer an NFLPA ?? Didn’t they decertify

  15. mathsimillion says: Jul 18, 2011 12:51 PM

    I don’t think the league should fine him since he didn’t IMO violate the rules or the conduct policy.

    I do think that the leagues should strongly recommend that the Steelers do something rather than have him issue an unsincere apology.

    Harrison has the right to say what he wants but he should also have the common sense to no talk crap about the guy his employers hired to manage their league.

    Employees need to know that there is a time and place for venting about your boss.

  16. jeffa43 says: Jul 18, 2011 12:57 PM

    Big Balls says up above…

    He stopped letting his game do the talking two years ago….

    I know Troy got DPOY…. but, nobody had better stats then James Harrison…

    Look at his sacks, forced fumbles, and game changing plays. Over the last 3 years nobody comes close..

    So, try watching some football “Biggerballs” before talking about football.

  17. joshuavkidd says: Jul 18, 2011 12:57 PM

    common misconception… there are in fact legal limitations to the term “freedom of speech”.

  18. jtotharoc says: Jul 18, 2011 12:58 PM

    You reap what you sow, The players are expected to uphold the personal conduct policies of the NFL yet they are unable to use any facilities or employees that pertain to their employment. I would have some nasty things to say about my employer if this were the case at my job. In fact I have been popping off “anti-gay slurs” since the lock out.

  19. footballhistorian says: Jul 18, 2011 12:59 PM

    What a completely stupid thing that Vrabel said. Harrison (the Idiot’s idiot) engages mouth, fails to engage brain (as usual) and Vrabel starts babbling about Goodell and taking a quote from Belichik COMPLETELY out of context…I’m pretty sure that Vrabel needs to get checked out for brain damage from too many hits to the head…

  20. jakek2 says: Jul 18, 2011 1:00 PM

    Why do fans give players like Harrison, Ocho Cinco, T.O., Rex Ryan, etc. so much crap? Goodell has rendered the league so sterile and boring. It is actually refreshing when players like Harrison speak out and are not P.C. This is an entertainment business after all, isn’t it?

  21. japdouds says: Jul 18, 2011 1:10 PM

    biggerballz says: Jul 18, 2011 12:38 PM

    let him talk he stopped letting his game do the talking two years ago.
    ==================================
    James Harrison has been the best LB in the NFL over the past 4 years. He led the league in forced fumbles, was near the top in sacks despite rushing the QB far less than other OLB’s, and is the best OLB in the league against the run.

    If you think Harrison let his game stop do his talking, go ask Josh Cribbs when he wakes up, or Joe Flacco who he sacked 3 times in the playoffs.

  22. xinellum says: Jul 18, 2011 1:25 PM

    First off, who cares what Vrabel says, he is just one person in a group of a whole bunch of player reps. Derrick Mason, player rep for the Ravens said he wouldn’t be surprised or have a problem with a fine for himself or Harrison. As he said, both are still employees of their teams, they are still under contract, a lockout would be considered a leave of absence and therefore by law the league and their individual teams can fine them. Secondly, the league can do whatever it wants to do under the CBA and both the past and the new CBA will have rules for behavior or comments detrimental to a team or to the league. What is the NFLPA going to do if they fine Harrison, go out on strike ha ha ha ha, that is the biggest laugh I have heard in a year. They are suing so they can play but will strike to defend Harrison. What kind of an idiot wrote this article.

  23. capslockkey says: Jul 18, 2011 1:29 PM

    In my opinion it’s a team issue, not a league one. Harrison isn’t the first to call the commish something derogatory. Goodall is not the supreme dictator of the league. He works for the owners as a policeman and political figure, which does not automatically give him immunity from criticism or name calling.

  24. kellyb9 says: Jul 18, 2011 1:35 PM

    “p4hbiz says:
    Jul 18, 2011 12:40 PM
    People have the right to say anything that they want too..”
    You have the right to say whatever you want as far as the government’s concerned, but when it comes to your employer, it’s best to keep your mouth shut.

  25. cletusvandam says: Jul 18, 2011 1:36 PM

    big talk from a guy who can’t be bothered to pay for what he takes

  26. emmonsh says: Jul 18, 2011 1:45 PM

    there doesnt need to be a cba to fine him for his comments. i would be fired at my job no matter if we were lockedout or not./ vrbal is such a idiot. loser like him belongs at ohio state.

  27. tommyf15 says: Jul 18, 2011 1:49 PM

    copman40 says:
    I thought there was no longer an NFLPA ?? Didn’t they decertify?

    At the request of the Owner’s Union, the Eighth Circuit Court rejected the decertification of the NFLPA.

    Here’s the deal:

    1. The league’s personal conduct policy is subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

    2. Since March 11, 2011 there has been no collective bargaining agreement in place, therefore…

    3. No CBA = no punishment from the league, and I seriously doubt that such provision would or even COULD be put in place retroactively.

  28. themage78 says: Jul 18, 2011 2:04 PM

    Roger’s got big shoulders. Roger understands. I would say to Roger or anybody else that had a problem with it, I would say what Bill Belichick said to us: To [those who] much is given, much is expected. And Roger is given a lot in form of compensation and being in the situation that he’s in so there’s a lot expected of him. And if that means taking the higher road and calling James and trying to figure out how to get this thing settled between them or whatever issue they have going on.”
    ————————————————————–
    So Vrabel, roger has to take the high road, but Harrison doesn’t? What a complete load of BS. That quote works both ways. Why doesn’t Harrison STFU and not try to incapacitate people every play? He leads with his helmet, shoulder, or anything super padded at targets half his size. He then cries when the NFL fines him for what is already on the rule books. Sorry James, man up, grow a sack, and stfu about how Goodell is after you and how much your QB sucks.

  29. bradshawlives says: Jul 18, 2011 2:11 PM

    This isn’t the last stupid thing Harrison will say. There will be plenty more opportunities to fine him.

  30. faceyagle says: Jul 18, 2011 2:20 PM

    I can’t stand Mike Vrabel. I’m not alone here either. Jon Jansen wanted to kick his ass a couple years ago during the draft. That’s why he was only there one day because Jansen refused to come back on the show unless he was gone.

  31. 1buckeye76 says: Jul 18, 2011 2:21 PM

    Get Andrew Whitworth on it… he handles James Harrison every time they cross paths.

  32. pdmjr says: Jul 18, 2011 2:54 PM

    Harrison is on eof the richest men in the NFL.

    His investments are golden. He owns the state of West Virginia

  33. Deb says: Jul 18, 2011 3:26 PM

    jdog21b says:

    @p4hbiz says: Jul 18, 2011 12:40 PM

    People have the right to say anything that they want too..
    —————————————————————
    Until it becomes slander
    **************

    People can say what they want, but free speech has consequences. If you tell off your boss, you risk being fired. But in this case, Harrison insulted public figures, so his comments are legally considered “fair comment and criticism,” and aren’t slanderous. Vrabel’s correct that Goodell’s options are limited because of the lockout. Besides, this isn’t something the league should fine anyway.

    But the lockout never changed Harrison’s contracted status with the Steelers. His comments about teammates, the photograph accompanying the article, and his continued antagonizing of the league crossed a line. I like James, but this was conduct detrimental to the team, and the team should address it. I still favor a one-game suspension by the Steelers.

  34. rcali says: Jul 18, 2011 3:34 PM

    Goodell must have a sore neck from shaking his head wondering how some of these players can be so stupid. Harrison is going down and he’ll have to take the league to court to get out of his upcoming punishment.

  35. Mitch Rogers says: Jul 18, 2011 3:52 PM

    Anything said during the lockout should go without punishment from the league or the Steelers. The owners locked the players out. “Wouldn’t piss on fire to put you out” is pretty comical.

  36. 3octaveFart says: Jul 18, 2011 4:14 PM

    Wow, nothing brings out the venom like a Steelers story, even if it’s just about a player running his mouth. There’s been a half dozen arrests in the last two weeks but you don’t hear such righteous indignation about those – and why?
    Only because when it’s a Steeler, it involves players on a team that has more rings than yours does.
    Lame.

  37. CKL says: Jul 18, 2011 5:30 PM

    jakek2 says:
    Jul 18, 2011 1:00 PM
    Why do fans give players like Harrison, Ocho Cinco, T.O., Rex Ryan, etc. so much crap? Goodell has rendered the league so sterile and boring. It is actually refreshing when players like Harrison speak out and are not P.C. This is an entertainment business after all, isn’t it?
    ___________________________________
    Yep, it’s an entertainment business. I personally prefer the entertainment of the actual game on the field and all its nuances as opposed to calling entertainment listening to a bunch of immature adults calling people names and whining about this and that but to each his own.

    themage78 says:
    Jul 18, 2011 2:04 PM

    So Vrabel, roger has to take the high road, but Harrison doesn’t? What a complete load of BS. That quote works both ways.
    ______________________________
    Actually RG himself sounded pretty ignorant in that SI interview that came out around playoff time this year in his comments on Belichick and Roethlisberger. And yes I do expect better behavior from an executive than I do from the rank and file types. Executives are SUPPOSED to be leaders and examples not sink to the lowest common denominator of smack talk. Same reason I expect more from a QB in the way they handle the press and their teammates than I do from the rest of the team.

    Harrison shouldn’t be fined for what he said about Goodell by anyone. He shouldn’t be fined at all. Fining DOES NOT GET GUYS’ ATTENTION. Speaking of a BB-ism, Vrabel should also remember his adage of “Take away their (players’) stage”. Sitting their butts on the bench DOES get their attention because it hits them right in the ego and pride. That is why Pitt needs to sit him.

  38. CKL says: Jul 18, 2011 5:31 PM

    To be clear, I believe Harrison should be sat down for what he said about his teammates.

  39. dd393 says: Jul 18, 2011 7:06 PM

    The way Harrison’s mouth goes off, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for fines and suspensions. He’s not even in pre-season mode yet.

  40. slickster35 says: Jul 18, 2011 9:39 PM

    I wish more players would come out with comments on Goodell, the biggest POS in the history of sports commissioners.

    God bless the memory of Pete Rozelle.

    Stern and Selig are enjoying this farce of a commish taking the light off their failures.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!