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Unnecessary Fining: Why the NFL Needs to Reconsider How It Gives out Fines

The 20k hit
The 20k hitLeon Halip/Getty Images
Joe UnderhillCorrespondent IIIAugust 18, 2011

This week, the NFL fined Ndamukong Suh $20,000 for what they deemed to be an illegal hit on Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton.

Dalton released the ball half a second before Suh crushed him, sending his helmet flying off in the process. Suh was coming from the backside and Dalton never cocked his arm back to throw, so I buy Suh's story that he never saw the pass released.

That being said, the penalty was legit, Dalton got rid of the ball, Suh should have been penalized. The NFL has been pushing player safety, which is a good thing. Football is a violent sport, that's why it's a popular sport.

The NFL makes bank on the big hits, the fans watch the games for them. I don't have a problem with the league fining players for helmet-to-helmet hits, they happen even when you are being careful.

The league needs to figure out a better way of determining how severe of a fine to pass out on hits. 

ESPN suggested the severity of the fine was, in part, the reputation Suh is developing around the league. As a rookie, he ripped QB Jake Delhomme's helmet off, which deserved the $7,500 fine.

During the regular season he pushed QB Jake Cutler was given a penalty for hitting him in the head (didn't even come close), and then the league gave him a $15,000 fine for hitting Cutler in the head.

If the league is going to fine guys for football, let's make sure its actually a dirty play. The hit on Delhomme deserved a fine, the hits on Cutler and Dalton did not, and certainly did not warrant a $20,000 fine for a preseason hit which really was pretty benign.

The NFL needs to wake up and smell the coffee, they need to realize there is a difference between reckless and aggressive. Fine the reckless and back off the fines for aggressive play a little bit. I don't think anyone would be freaking out if the fine to Suh was $7,500. 

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