Saints' Roman Harper Needs to Man Up, Apologize to Steve Smith

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IOctober 13, 2011

Roman Harper's wallet is $15,000 lighter. (Getty images).
Roman Harper's wallet is $15,000 lighter. (Getty images).Sean Gardner/Getty Images

File this one under the "would they or wouldn't they?" department.

Roman Harper was fined $15,000 for his after-the-play cheap shot on Carolina receiver Steve Smith last week.

Now, considering that Roger Goodell has done so very much to make this a "kinder, gentler" NFL, shouldn't the league also require these guys to pen a hand-written apology to the men they cheap-shotted?

Just think about it for a moment. The league could offer fines with an option, for instance:

"Dear Mr. Harper, the league has deemed that you acted in a manner that does not display the type of sportsmanship the NFL represents. You are hereby ordered to one of these two possibilities:

1. You may pay a $25,000 fine   OR

2. You may pay a reduced $15,000 fine along with a hand-written apology to Mr. Smith."

Now there's something that would have them talking.

Do you think for one minute there's a single player in the NFL who would sit down and hand-write an apology to another player?

Didn't think so.

This late shot by Harper touched off a melee of sorts between the Panthers and the Saints, and Panthers coach Ron Riviera was glad his team, as a unit, didn't stand for it.

Gotta love that. That's unity.

You also have to question Harper's intelligence when it comes to picking a fight with Steve Smith. In fact, would you ever want to take on any guy in the NFL who is less than 5'10"? These little guys are the meanest; they've had people calling them out all their lives—they're USED to throwing hands.

Smith is no exception.

Instead of cheap-shoting a guy, Harper should simply spend more time learning to cover people.

That way guys like Smith won't beat him and do those little celebrations in the end zone.

If Harper owes anyone an apology, it's his teammates.

After all, it was his fault Smith scored.

In the meantime, just pay the $15,000 and don't let it happen again.