Mike Tomlin‘s sideline mishap on Thanksgiving night is going to cost him.
The NFL announced on Wednesday morning that Tomlin would be fined $100,000 for “interfering with a play in progress.” The Steelers could also be subject to more sanctions this offseason.
The fine comes as no surprise, as the $100,000 figure was the same amount former Jets assistant Sal Alosi was docked for interfering with a return in 2010. However, the NFL included in its decision that the Steelers may also be forced to forfeit or modify their draft picks once the final draft order is set.
Initial speculation and video evidence seemed to suggest that Tomlin had intentionally stepped into Ravens returner Jacoby Jones‘ path on the third-quarter kick return. However, the Steelers head coach adamantly refuted that claim, explaining that he would never jeopardize the integrity of the game.
Tomlin was not flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play, but NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino admitted on Tuesday night that officials should have hit him with a 15-yard penalty for his interference.
The Steelers are currently third in the AFC North and just a game out of the sixth spot in the AFC playoff picture. However, at 5-7, they currently are position to pick somewhere between 14th and 17th in the 2014 NFL draft.