The official word came down from NFL offices in New York today that Pittsburgh Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000.
I’m a bit surprised the number wasn’t higher considering the League’s penchant for going after the Steelers more harshly than they do other teams but there is a hook here.
The NFL also announced they will consider modification or forfeiture of the team’s draft choices once the final order of the draft has been determined.
This is 100% complete and udder bull crap in my opinion on a few different levels.
The money he is being fined I have no issue with especially because it matches the same amount a New York Jets’ conditioning coach was fined when tripped a player on the field.
Basically, I’m good with the money part of this.
The draft picks part of this is flawed and I believe it to be nothing more than a threat that will not come to fruition. I see this almost exactly on the same level as Roger Goodell’s punishment of Ben Roethlisberger in 2010.
Goodell announced a six-game suspension for Roethlisberger but noted it could be cut to four games with “proper behavior.” There wasn’t an NFL pundit alive who believed the six-game suspension would stick and it didn’t.
I see the threat of losing picks the same way.
The fact that the NFL said it would wait until the draft order is established is one reason it won’t happen. What justification would the league have to move the Steelers from the 10th spot to the last in a particular round for example?
There is no precedent that I’m aware of that would guide the League in doing such a thing. I don’t believe they’ll forfeit a draft pick either because the precedent being set there could be dangerous.
During the Spygate issue in New England, the elimination of a first-round pick was easy. A message had to be sent that this kind of thing can’t happen again. In Tomlin’s situation, there are any number of ways a team could alter the course of a game whether it’s standing “in the white” or a player throwing his shoe at a ball-carrier who falls down before getting to the end zone.
It’s a subjective issue and if the NFL stands by its’ code of “integrity” then subjectivity has no place.
Tomlin made a stupid mistake and is paying a fair price for it but the team should not have to and in my opinion they won’t.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 630pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.