Blog Entry

NFL explains no fine for Asante Samuel

Posted on: January 1, 2011 9:06 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit

It was baffling that the league chose not to fine Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel for the helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked out Vikings receiver Sidney Rice Tuesday night. NFL spokesman Randall Lui explained to Pro Football Talk why Samuel, who would have been a repeat offender, was not fined:

“Because the receiver had completed the catch with two feet down and possession of the ball, he had protection from a hit to the head only from a defender who launches. Samuel did not ‘launch’ as defined by our current rules because the ball of his right foot was on the ground when contact with the receiver was made. Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(h) Note states: ‘Launching is defined as springing forward and upward by a player who leaves his feet to make contact on the receiver.’ [NFL executive V.P. of football operations] Ray Anderson confirmed that the NFL Competition Committee will review the rule and the definition of ‘launch’ in the off-season with the anticipation that this type of action will be a foul in future seasons.”

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Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: January 1, 2011 10:31 pm

NFL explains no fine for Asante Samuel

I don't understand how players that weren't penalized received fines and Samuel got flagged with a full wallet.  In all honesty, I'm sick of the fine BS altogether, but the NFL's inconsistencies regarding the issue need to stop.  If it's not blatantly obvious that a player is trying to hurt someone, they need to relax a little.  The speed of NFL games is so fast that these hits often occur without time to actually think about them.  If the hit is penalty-worthy, throw a flag.  If not, pack the flag and lay off the fine nonsense.

Since: Jan 27, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2011 10:29 pm

NFL explains no fine for Asante Samuel

"Deliberately"??  WTF are you smoking bro?  A high speed collision where Rice ducks his head to meet Samuels helmet to helmet.  Get over yourself dude.

Since: Oct 21, 2009
Posted on: January 1, 2011 9:51 pm

NFL explains no fine for Asante Samuel

This is a load of BS. How can the NFL fine Joe Webb 5K for a stiff-arm/facemask when Asante Samuel gets no fine after deliberately striking Sidney Rice in the head with his helmet? I don't care if it's "launching" or not!

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2011 9:36 pm

NFL explains no fine for Asante Samuel

They are just making up rules as they go now.  This is getting ridiculous...

Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: January 1, 2011 9:35 pm

NFL explains no fine for Asante Samuel

I have no problem with the distinction of whether or not someone "launches" into another player, but the whole "defenseless player" designation is so ridiculously stupid that it makes my brain hurt. Guess what NFL? All 22 players on the field are wearing pads and helmets. I believe they all have to ability to wear whatever protective equipment they choose to. By definition then, none of the players on the field are "defenseless". A 6-year old girl sitting in the stands is defenseless. A 65-year old security guard standing on the sidelines with his back to the field is defenseless. You could certainly argue that the umpire and back judge, as well as the officials along the sidelines, are somewhat defenseless. But any player who chooses to take part in a play and is in full pads and helmet, is not defenseless. If a wide receiver chooses to leap into the air to haul down a high pass, he certainly has the right to do so, but he should also bear some responsibility for the results of his action. If he chooses to make himself defenseless, then that is certainly his prerogative, but why should a defender be penalized because of the decisions made by the offensive player.

I'm not saying that defenders should launch into airborne receivers, but I believe that if it is a penalty to lower the head and hit a ballcarrier with the crown of the helmet, then it should be a penalty whether the player is "defenseless" or not. If a receiver is considered "defenseless" by his own actions, then the defender should not be punished for it.  At some point, they are going to have to address the situation where defenders are getting penalized and fined right and left for lowering the head and hitting players with their helmet, while running backs can feel free to duck their heads and go barreling into defenders with their helmet. I also believe that ballcarriers should not be able to stick their hand into the face of a defender, whether they grab the facemask or not, but that is probably a whole different discussion.

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