Ndamukong Suh and the 7 Dirtiest Players in the NFL
It takes a certain kind of player to rise from the hard-hitting ranks of the NFL into a select category: dirty.
Whether they have a penchant for late hits, or an affinity for the helmet-to-helmet collisions, these players have created a reputation that fans immediately recognize (whether that's a good thing is up for debate).
Here are seven players whose play has given them the classification as dirty.
Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is not afraid of being labeled a dirty player. In fact he relishes it. In a 2010 survey of NFL players, Finnegan was voted the dirtiest player in the league.
Few situations show this better than Finnegan's fight with Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. Finnegan baited Johnson throughout the contest, and the pairs pushing eventually led to both players getting ejected.
Finnegan recently apologized to the Titans after storming out of the team's practice Sunday in what was later described as a contract dispute.
James Harrison is an easy addition to this list after his 2010 season where he was fined for a series of helmet-to-helmet hits (which almost led him to retire).
Harrison most recently apologized to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after calling him a "devil" and a "crook" in an interview with Men's Journal.
Ndamukong Suh made waves in his rookie season for his penchant for putting big hits on quarterbacks. While his play led to his naming as Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2010, it has also given him a reputation as being a dirty player.
A hit on Andy Dalton in Week 1 of the preseason, attached here, led to a fine of $20,000. It will most likely not be the last for this hard-hitting defensive tackle.
T.J. Ward has no issues with putting hard hits on opposing players.
Look at this hit from Ward on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jordan Shipley, which led to a fine of $15,000.
When asked about the hit, Ward said he ignored the criticism.
"“They [Bengals] tried to yap at me, but I ignored them. I would do it again.”
Dunta Robinson may not have a huge background of dirty plays, but this huge helmet-to-helmet hit on Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has to put him on this list.
Robinson was fined $50,000 for the play, on which he also sustained a concussion.
While Robinson insisted he is not a dirty player, if he continues to make hits like these then fans will come to a different conclusion.
This hit from New England Patriots Brandon Meriweather was beyond cheap. It was shameful.
Meriweather was fined $50,000 for his terrible hit.
Despite the fine and the controversy, Meriweather said he would not alter his style of play.
In other words, watch your head if you're catching passes near him this season, especially if the passes go way over your head.
There's a difference to playing hard and playing dirty. Oakland Raiders second-year linebacker Rolando McClain doesn't seem to know the difference.
While he may not have been fined for this dirty helmet-to-helmet hit on then-San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles, he has faced fines on a few other occasions for his cheap play.