James Harrison’s agent: Alleged payment for hit “never happened”

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The longtime agent for former Steelers linebacker James Harrison hadn’t heard his client’s insinuation that coach Mike Tomlin “handed me an envelope” for a vicious hit which drew a hefty fine.

So when a reporter asked him about it, it was news to him on several levels.

Absolutely not. Never happened,” agent Bill Parise told Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I would have known that. It didn’t happen.”

Harrison was fined $75,000 for a hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. He wasn’t flagged on the play, and Parise said the amount of the fine was eventually reduced even though Harrison lost his appeal.

“James’ hit was unquestionably brutal,” Parise said, “but it was absolutely legal.”

Parise retired in 2019, but said he still advises Harrison.

“James and I are still together,” he said. “We were really close during our 18 years. He would have said something along the way.”

The Steelers put out a statement from owner Art Rooney II that cast similar doubt on Harrison’s claim.

I am very certain nothing like this ever happened,” Rooney said in a statement from the team to PFT. “I have no idea why James would make a comment like this but there is simply no basis for believing anything like this.”

So far Tomlin hasn’t addressed the issue, though Saints coach Sean Payton has expressed skepticism that the league will look deeply into the matter.

16 responses to “James Harrison’s agent: Alleged payment for hit “never happened”

  1. People are trying a little too hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

  2. What would Harrison’s motivation be here . If he wants to say the team paid his fine then say it. I’m sure that happens all the time but count to 100 and I bet he backtracks .

  3. It’s too late. Cat’s outta the bag, there’s no going back now. All these people can say whatever they want but James had an unintended moment of candor and now everyone knows.

  4. The NFL fines people to minimize injury and manage public perception.
    The reason is vicious hits injure players, who are then a sunk cost to the owners.
    Fines are usually reduced behind the scenes, and how they get paid and where the money goes is a rabbit hole. Like many other things.

  5. Tomlin the same coach and the ONLY coach to step onto the field to trip a player in live action. I”m sure Harrison is right.

  6. I can’t wait for the explanation from the Steelers that there was simply a letter in the envelope, expressing their appreciation for Harrison’s effort and their agreement he should not have been fined.

  7. No wonder Harrison kept up with then illegal hits, getting fined and never changed his behavior – the team told him behind the scenes to keep it up and paid his fines.

    This is worse than the Saints Bountygate thing.

  8. What do you expect from his former agent? Why do I care if I throw Harrison under the bus? I am making no money off of him now. He is useless to me now.

  9. killerkowal says:
    May 15, 2020 at 10:49 am
    What do you expect from his former agent? Why do I care if I throw Harrison under the bus? I am making no money off of him now. He is useless to me now.


    Except that Parise (Harrison’s agent) still works with Harrison, so I’m pretty sure he’d probably not be looking to throw him under the bus.

  10. Sounds like Harrison was trying to keep it “real” in the moment, lied and now his pride won’t let him retract what he said.

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