Linebacker Gary Guyton received an identical fine for his helmet to helmet hit on Favre, which drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty. Guyton hit him in the head so the league fined him. I got no beef with that.
I do have beef with the fine on Pryor. A great, big, 72 oz., Texas-sized slab of beef.
The officials saw no problem with the hit. The announcers saw no problem with the hit. Favre himself never expressed a problem with the hit. Know why?
Because it was a clean hit. The Fox announcers actually went out of their way to point that out.
So why did the NFL fine Pryor?
If you watch the hit, you clearly see Pryor did not go high and hit Favre in the head. He hit Favre square in the chest and his helmet slid up from there to catch Favre under the chin.
Pryor didn't spear him. He didn't launch himself (I'm not sure he's even physically capable of launching himself). It wasn't a late hit as he arrived just as Favre released the ball. Everything about the hit was legal.
So now the NFL has decided to fine players for obeying the rules as well as breaking them.
The only rule Pryor broke was the unwritten "Thou shalt not hit the quarterback."
The NFL has made it clear that players aren't allowed to hit a quarterback below the waist or in the head. That means you have to hit them in the torso, which is exactly what Pryor did.
If he'd hit Josh Freeman or Ryan Fitzpatrick, would he be fined?
If he'd hit a runningback or wide receiver?
This isn't James Harrison we're talking about. Pryor isn't a professional thug who threatens to retire rather than avoid head-hunting. He's a young player trying to work his way into more playing time and he's earning it with good, clean, aggressive plays like the one he made on Sunday.
He's also earning fines from the league which is ridiculous. The NFL should be ashamed of itself. If they're going to fine Pryor for risking Favre's safety, they should fine Favre too. After all, he's a 41 year old man who insists on playing even though he has broken bones in his ankle. He's putting himself in danger much more than guys like Pryor are. Fine him too.
Fine every quarterback who risks his safety by taking a big hit in the pocket.
Or better yet, make the quarterback play two-hand touch because right now anything more than that is costing players money.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!