Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Fine Tomlin, but leave the draft picks alone

Mike Tomlin's sideline shenanigans, hijinks, skullduggery and tomfoolery may cost him a six-figure fine from the NFL, but there is also speculation the NFL may take a draft pick away from the Steelers.

Tomlin should be fined. The NFL simply cannot allow coaches or anybody else on the sidelines to pull such stunts. Would Steelers' fans want John Harbaugh or Marvin Lewis doing that sort of stunt? No.

A hefty fine would be appropriate for Tomlin and a deterrent to other coaches -- $100,000 sounds about right. Too much? Not given the furor this week. We'd be surprised, however, if there's a one-game suspension.

And a draft pick? No. Joey Porter's Pit Bulls take issue with the loss of a draft pick. Penalize the coach, but not the franchise. This was not organizational malfeasance (a la Spygate). A six-figure fine on the guy who did it would make the point.

Here's another point about the draft pick: Tomlin is by no means a lame-duck head coach, but what if some future sideline-stepping scalawag were a lame-duck head coach who already knows he won't be around to pay the price of a lost draft pick and, in fact, wouldn't mind hampering his successor's future success?

Leave the draft picks alone.

So, NFL, go ahead and fine him six figures -- it's not our money. But a draft pick? Nuh-uh.

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