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“I would imagine if the Rooneys thought that I was capable of that or they thought my intentions were that, I wouldn’t be sitting at this table talking to you guys,” he said.

Tomlin makes $5.25 million a season and the fine constitutes less than 2 percent of his annual salary. He is far more concerned about the uncomfortable position he put the league and the Steelers in after failing to get out of the way with any sense of urgency.

“I will take this as an opportunity to strenuously defend the game of football and the NFL. I won’t defend myself,” Tomlin said. “The people that know me, I don’t need to do that. The people that don’t know me, they are going to make their judgments any way.”

The penalty is large for on-field conduct but a coach but is not among the heftiest in league history. The NFL slapped New England coach with a maximum $500,000 fine in 2007 for spying on an opponent’s defensive signals.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton was suspended for the 2012 season for his role in a bounty system that awarded Saints players for injuring an opponent.

Tomlin’s predecessor, Bill Cowher, raised eyebrows but was not disciplined in 1997 when he feigned tackling Jacksonville’s Chris Hudson as Hudson ran back a Pittsburgh field goal attempt for a touchdown on the final play of the game in a 30-21 Jaguars victory.