NFL Rules: New Fines for Illegal Hits, Will It Help Curb Head to Head Hits?

Josh McCainSenior Writer IMay 25, 2011

DETROIT , MI - OCTOBER 11:  Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions is tackled by James Harrison #92 of the  Pittsburgh Steelers October 11, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Johnson was injured on the play.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NFL rules committee has increased the fines for hits the league deems illegal.

With the amount of money players make, are the fines enough to curb these hits?

Honestly, I don't think so. 

In reality, I only see two real solutions in decreasing these types of hits.

The first solution is suspension.  If a players misses a game or two for their hits, not only does it hit them in the pocketbook (missing game checks), but their teammates won't take too kindly being down a player for a game.

Eventually teams will start policing themselves because they won't want a player like linebacker James Harrison to miss a game during the season for a stupid hit.

My second solution (and this one isn't entirely in the NFL's hands) is to ask ESPN and other national programs that run highlight shows, not to show these hits.

Every player dreams of seeing their plays make SportsCenter, especially the top-10, and for defensive players, they really only get seen if they blow someone up.

If these hits are no longer featured on television, there might be a decrease in the current NFL, but it would also reach into the future. Young players in middle school and high school won't see these highlights anymore and are less likely to make big hits, since there really won't be any added glory.

The suspensions are well within the control of the league, especially since they are in the middle of a new collective bargaining agreement.  They can add that stipulation in.

I'll admit the showing of the hits (unless they negotiate that when the stations that air NFL games re-up their contracts) is out of their hands.

But if the league is serious about making the game safer then drastic steps do need to be taken.

I'm not really a fan of constant rule changes, but when you see retired players who are only in their 40's but look like they're on the doorstep of 60 because of hits they took in their playing days, you can kind of side with the league on safety issues.