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John Harbaugh uses $1 bet with player to troll NFL over fine

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John Harbaugh demonstrated he has a sense of humor over a hefty fine the NFL recently levied upon him by cracking a joke over a $1 bet he supposedly made with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Za’Darius Smith.

Harbaugh cracked wise during a session with reporters about the so-called bet, which involved determining whether Smith had lined up in the neutral zone during a recent practice.

“I had a bet with him last week — maybe that’s against the rules to have a bet with a guy — but it was only a dollar, so I have to read the CBA and see what the rule is on that,” Harbaugh said, eliciting laughter from reporters, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Harbaugh was fined $137,223 while the Ravens were penalized in the amount of $343,057 after the NFL determined the team put rookies and first-year players in pads during a rookie minicamp earlier this offseason. The Ravens also were forced to forfeit three OTA sessions as additional punishment for violating the league’s offseason rules.

The Ravens head coach said the violation was due in part to a misinterpretation of some amendments in the collective bargaining agreement. He also assumed complete responsibility for the fallout.

“It’s on me,” Harbaugh said. “It’s completely me. It was my decision. That’s the situation that we’re in and we’ll adjust and we’ll adapt. We’ll still become the best football team that we can be.”

But that didn’t stop Harbaugh from using the entire situation as comedic fodder, as he expanded upon the $1 bet with Smith.

“[We] went back and watched the tape frame-by-frame, and he was not in the neutral zone,” he said. “He was right on time, and actually, one of the linemen had even flinched. I have to pay him a dollar, but I’m going to wait until I check my side letter on that.”

That John Harbaugh. What a wisenheimer.