T.J. Watt Reveals Strange Reason He Was Fined By The NFL

By Jason Hall

February 16, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
Photo: Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt said he was fined by the NFL because the league took his joke about checking his phone at halftime too seriously.

Last month, Watt appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and said he used his phone at halftime to see if he was credited with a sack on a recovered botched snap as he entered the game one short of the NFL single-season record, which he later tied on a different play.

Watt later appeared in the latest episode of Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast and revealed he was joking, but that didn't stop the NFL for handing down a $10,000 fine on the eventual 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“I jokingly said that I checked my phone of halftime of the Baltimore game, and the NFL took it as a real saying and fined me $10,000." Watt said. “It’s just one of those things where I’m allowed to have my phone on me at all 90 minutes before the game, or during halftime.”

Watt tied New York Giants legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer's record 22.5 sacks during his team's Week 18 game against the Baltimore Ravens on January 9.

Watt trailed Strahan by one sack entering Sunday's game and tied the record after tracking down Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley late in the second quarter.

Last week, Watt won the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award for the first time in his five-year career.

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