The NFL came down hard on Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin Wednesday morning for his interference with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones on a kick off return in the third quarter of the team’s Thanksgiving Day match up by handing down a $100,000 fine.
Many have been discussing whether or not Tomlin’s sideline interference was intentional or not, but the NFL says that intent did not factor in to their punishment.
“Intent is not a factor in discipline because it cannot be determined,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Pro Football Talk via email. “An individual is fined for an action that is a violation.”
While Tomlin received a six-figure fine, the league also kept the possibility of punishing the team with the removal or modification of a draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The fine is steep, but deserved, but the draft pick punishment could prove to be far more damaging to the team.
The Steelers desperately need to add youthful talent to their roster, so they will need their full arsenal of draft picks in order to rebuild their roster.
Unfortunately, Tomlin’s sideline gaff could force them to work without one of the picks they had planned on using.