Should NFL Punish Brandon Meriweather for Controversial Hits?

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Should NFL Punish Brandon Meriweather for Controversial Hits?
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In an era where player safety has become one of the biggest talking points in the NFL, the league has cracked down on helmet-to-helmet hits.

Apparently, Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather didn't get the memo. But odds are the seventh-year veteran is going to find another missive from the league in his locker later this week.

It's going to be an expensive letter.

Twice in Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers, Meriweather made contact with the crown of his helmet. The first, as reported by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, resulted in a concussion for Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy.

GIF courtesy of Deadspin

The second, after Meriweather again came in high on running back James Starks, ended with a concussion for Meriweather himself, according to Chris Chase of USA Today.

GIF courtesy of Business Insider

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com believes (rightly so) that the NFL will be taking a close look at Meriweather's hits from Sunday:

Will Brinson of CBS Sports was quite a bit more blunt:

It will be nothing short of stunning if Meriweather isn't fined heavily by the league, even though neither play drew a flag. A suspension wouldn't be a shock either.

Simply put, players just aren't allowed to launch themselves at the ball-carrier anymore, and in both instances, Meriweather clearly led with his helmet.

It's something that he has a history of doing as well. As Brad Biggs of the National Football Post reports, Meriweather accrued nearly $100,000 in fines in 2010 and 2011 for hits that were either late or involved helmet-to-helmet contact.

In 2011, former Bears receiver and Chicago-area radio host Tom Waddle didn't mince words regarding Meriweather, who was playing for the Bears at the time, via ESPN:

He's going to hurt himself, and he's going to hurt someone else because of the intent. And maybe that intent is not in his heart. I don't know Brandon. I haven't had a discussion with him. But it sure looks by the way he plays the game that the intent isn't to put a big hit on someone and legally knock them out, it's to hurt someone.

Well, Meriweather managed to do both in Sunday's game. It only added to his reputation as one of the dirtier players in the National Football League, and by the time all is said and done, it's fair to assume that his actions are also going to subtract from his wallet.

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