Six-figure fine could be coming for Steelers, Tomlin

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In the immediate aftermath of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s walkabout that resulted in one of his feet actually being in the field of play, we pointed to the precedent created three years ago by the league, when it fined the Jets $100,000 for a similar incident.

The league apparently has pointed to that precedent, too.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the NFL is considering a six-figure fine for the Steelers and Tomlin.  Per multiple reports, there’s also a chance that the league will strip one or more draft picks from the Steelers.

The possible loss of a draft pick should terrify the Steelers.  For billion-dollar business, six-figure fines are like parking tickets.  Draft picks have much more value to a team, given that each one (even seventh-rounders) can become young players who can be kept for four years at a low rate of play.

It’s unclear whether the Steelers and Tomlin would be separately fined.  For Jets strength coach Sal Alosi, who arranged a wall of inactive players on the far side of the white sideline stripe during punt plays, the team was fined $100,000.  (Alosi “resigned” after the season.)  In the 2007 Spygate case, both the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick were fined.

Schefter reports that a suspension of Tomlin won’t happen.

A decision will come early in the week.  As we reported on Thursday night, the situation falls within the jurisdiction of executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson.

64 responses to “Six-figure fine could be coming for Steelers, Tomlin

  1. I agree there should be a fine for if anything to set a precedent because obviously we don’t want this happening. However, this story has blown up a little too much in my opinion. First off, jacoby does not score even if tomlin isnt there despite what he said. The steeler defender had the angle on him and was closing too fast. Secondly, Baltimore won anyways.

  2. Fine only. This isn’t a bigger deal than that. If he repeats or the team repeats, then progressive penalties would follow.

  3. If the league whole enforce the rules on the sidelines with penalty flags this wouldn’t happen. Players and coaches are always crowding the playing field which causes this to happen. Keep them back behind the white line? How hard is that?

  4. A 2nd round draft pick and next week keep Mike Tomlin on the bench would give a strong message to other teams. Bill

  5. The fine should be a lot bigger than $100K if that is the precedent for a nobody coach. Tomlin is a head coach, and makes a lot more, so it should hurt a lot more in the wallet. He should also have more respect for the game. Tomlin and Jason Kidd should get together and discuss cheating strategies, and maybe, take an acting class together since they both stunk it up in that area.

  6. I was ashamed watching it go down. He watched the entire play and only moved when he heard the foot steps. I’ve taught my sons that a win is only good when it is earned and we then watched coach Tomlin play dirty even if it was an accident just stay off the field!

  7. Not a Steelers fan here, but the lost of draft choice seems a bit excessive, and didn’t the Jets commit the same infraction recently? They just received a 15 yards penalty if I recall, so why the double standard?

  8. Well, there should be some form of punishment. You just cant be allowed to do that. Im thinking more then just a fine. Fines are merely a slap on the wrist at that level.

    It was funny to me when I saw the replays and pictures on how obvious it was. Im surprised Tomlin did that. But like we all know you just cant let that go. Imagine what the Harbaughs or Jim Schwartz would start doing if they know the league will look the other way on stuff like that.

  9. Taking draft picks for such an offense is unjust and just plain wrong. If $100K is similar to a parking ticket, then make the fine $500K. Taking draft picks is wrong even if it’s a 6th or 7th rounder.

  10. One small difference between the Alosi and Tomlin incidents… Alosi intentionally stuck out his knee to trip Nolan Carroll (who was injured due to the contact) – and, Alosi admitted to the regular practice of building the “wall” of players along the sideline to impede punt gunners. Tomlin did not make contact with anyone, nor does he have a history of being where he was during plays. The Jets got the $100K fine from the league after Alosi was fined $25K and suspended by the team.

    The league would have to prove the same willful intent to penalize the Steelers more than the Jets.

  11. Fine Tomlin $250,000usd and take their fourth round pick (highest if more than one); when they appeal, fine Tomlin $200,000usd and take their fifth round pick (highest if more than one); anything less, will not get the rest of the league’s attention…

  12. $250,000 fine to both tomlin and the steelers , tomlin kicked off the rules committee , and maybe a 6th round pick(doubt it but never know) ..this is what I think will happen not what I’d like

  13. It’s obvious Tomlin was not where he was supposed to be, but let’s be real for a second. It’s not like he is the only person in the league who gets on the field when they are not supposed to be there. And it’s not like he ran a secret video production of other teams practice habits and collected their audibles…

  14. It was definitely bizarre the next day to see many in the sports media to be treating a play in which a head coach came out onto the field to stop a sure touchdown as some kind of joke that we should laugh at.

  15. If it ends up being a small petty fine I could see a similar situation happening down the road with more on the line.

    Similar to when a DB gets beat and knows his best option is to blatantly tackle/interfere with the WR to preserve a TD.

    spot foul, automatic first down > 7 points

    I mean if its potentially a game deciding TD heading right down your sideline and you or someone on your staff can stop that TD for a $100,000 fine do you do that?

    Many coaches would not consider it, but some would. Would you pay $100,000 to advance to your conference championship game. If the play is unfolding right up your sideline and if you prevent the opposing runner you basically will advance in the playoffs for $100,000. Some front offices would pay that fine behind closed doors.

  16. The hammer should be brought down here. Tomlin wasn’t just out of bounds impeding a gunner who had crossed the white stripe, he was on the field of play in front of a returner with a clear path to the endzone. This may have been the only reason his team even had a chance to tie the game at the end. Actions like this can have serious effects on game and season outcomes. A fine, unless large enough to seriously affect his livelihood, pales in comparison to the possible ramifications of such an act.

  17. Take away draft picks and maybe Tomlin should cry “racism” and “bullying” by the NFL for a defense.

  18. So Belichick and the Patriots get caught intentionally cheating for years on the way to stealing 3 Super Bowls. The league fines them and takes away a draft pick. In addition, they destroy the tapes which is the evidence of the infraction. The same punishment is being considered for a coach having his foot in the field of play. Really? This league is a joke. Will the NFL also destroy the tapes of Tomlinson having his foot over the white line?

  19. Goodell is a (insert your favorite expletive). This incident bore no comparison to the Alosi incident. This could have been unintentional; that was planned. This was spontaneous; that was premeditated. Tomlin made no contact with Jones; Alosi tripped the gunner. This resulted in no injuries and did not impact the game’s outcome; that knocked a player out of the game.

    If Goodell wants to fine Tomlin for stepping six inches onto the field, then stepping back–no problem. He fines people for anything and everything. If he screws around with our draft picks, he’s even more of a pig than I think he is … which I didn’t believe possible.

  20. $100k is bologna for this kind of schenanigan. The NFL needs to make people understand that hanging out on the sidelines is way off limits.

    Also, they should not give him a discount since he didn’t even bother to come clean and be honest about it. This is an example of a person that needs to be made an example out of, for the good of all honest and fair footballers in the future.

    They should throw the book at him and the team, fine them both.

  21. citizen strange is the worst commenter on these boards since the Pervy Harvin days.

    grow up, Nancy boy.

  22. If you are the NFL you lower the boom, hard. Why? This was obviously intentional, it has happened before (Alosi) and you do NOT want this to turn into the WWE. Last time was $100,000, this time should be $100,000 + draft picks, next time will add on long term suspension/ban.

  23. considering there’s all this talk of money in this thread, id just like to remind the Ravens fans on here that the best GM in league history gave Jump Ball Joe a $100 million dollar contract.

  24. Anybody who thinks the NFL has it in for the Steelers is clueless. Last week, Gay wasn’t even flagged for a blow to Jason Campbell’s head that resulted in a concussion (and a fumble) but was fined later…..then this…..and let’s not forget the gift Super Bowl in Detroit a few years back…..that was hand-wrapped. The refs are directly responsible for one of those rings…..get a clue.

  25. This was not as big a thing as the Jets incident. That man acknowledged he decided to cheat. This could have happened to anyone and the league should ignore it for the most part and move on. Fine him if just to keep people honest. And that “smile,” was footage was taken after the Ravens showed the replay on the big screen over and over. Only Ravens fans watching the game actually saw cheating in real time. It was an honest and slightest mistake. It meant nothing to the outcome and the defender had Jones no matter what. This whole thing is a non issue, and should be treated as such. What we should be concentrated on is fixing the play that knocked L. Bell out of the game. The dead ball at loss of helmet rule needs to be changed ASAP in the Offseason, and the player who lined up the helmet to helmet hit that actually cracked Bell’s helmet needs to be fined and suspended.

  26. classyjacklambert says:
    Dec 1, 2013 12:07 PM
    What about the fine for that brutal helmet to helmet hit on Leveon Bell, what’s that looking like? Or is that not going to be fined since it wasn’t done by the steelers?

    EXACTLY!!! I say it’s even:)

  27. $500K Fine and loss of draft pick – with the draft pick going to Baltimore.

    Triple damages for totally egregious conduct for a head coach.

  28. No one knows Tomlin’s intent, but it seems to me the hammer has to drop on Tomlin, not the team. Fining the team is meaningless and draft picks are too much. Intentional or not, this can’t be tolerated. It has to hurt enough so it doesn’t happen again. Can’t try to guess intent, or whether the Steeler could have caught him anyway, or it was one foot and he took it back, as long as it wasn’t two feet, it didn’t inpact the gm, etc. All that’s subjective.
    At best, if it was unintentional, it was way stupid and careless.

  29. Tomlin needs to learn proper use of the English language to help him move on to his life’s work. Rooneys have a good plan in place to keep Tomlin long enough for him to take the team to the depth of the overall #1 draft pick in 2017. Steelers then take Christian Hackenberg to replace Big Ben.

  30. No way this calls for losing a draft pick. Big fine, ok. How about chaning the loss of helmet rule to rule the runner is down where he lands if he loses it while going to the ground instead of in mid air for goodness sakes!

  31. All that’s subjective.
    At best, if it was unintentional, it was way stupid and careless.

    Amazing how some trolls like to think they are smart and are in the minds of so many athletes and coaches. While you can have an opinion passing it off as gospel is a joke, and in the case of this poster….”stupid”

  32. In the 20 yrs I have watched NFL I have never seen a coach or sideline player affect a live play before . The jets incident was done out of bounds. This to me is worse in that it affected a play and he was on the figginn field . Glad the rest of the fans got to see what the ravens must deal with when we play Pitt . Gotta beat the team and the refs

  33. Tomlin knew exactly what he was doing. Kick him off the competition committee, award the Ravens a touchdown and the Steelers’ no. 1 pick. This team has been getting away with murder for years!

  34. League is out of control. They need to take off all these weapons and play on real grass fields…to fast and dangerous now. sadly an on field death will happen….what will Roger do?

  35. Joemontanaflacco says:
    Kick him off the competition committee, award the Ravens a touchdown and the Steelers’ no. 1 pick.
    Their 1st rd pick? Even though it’ll be down at the bottom of the round – likely the 32nd pick – that’s still too significant a penalty. And after watching the red zone follies, I can see why you’re beggin for TDs. Earning them is too difficult.

  36. I just read a source from Fansided that said not to expect the loss of a draft pick for my team. Certainly nobody should trust anything they hear at times because they could be false. Look, I do think there will be a significant fine, but I don’t think I expect a suspension nor a loss of a draft pick. Let’s see what the NFL decides to do this week when things should come down.

  37. Not a fan of the Patriots by any means, but I wonder how many Steelers fans calling this an “overreaction” were calling for Bellichick’s head during Spygate.

  38. “Not a fan of the Patriots by any means, but I wonder how many Steelers fans calling this an “overreaction” were calling for Bellichick’s head during Spygate.”

    You’re comparing a momentary lapse of reason to a planned scheme of cheating and deception? You sure you’re not a Pats fan?

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