Blog Entry

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

Posted on: September 19, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 10:01 am
Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday night, Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson repeated history by smashing Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin with a helmet-to-helmet hit that reminded everyone of a similar shot he dropped on Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson in 2010.

Robinson was fined $40,000 by the NFL on Monday for violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9 (a) (2) of the NFL's official playing rules (you probably know it as the "defenseless receiver rule").

"It is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture," the rule reads.

He was also alerted by NFL VP of Football Operations Merton Hanks that any future violations of player safety rules would result in a suspension.

"Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension," Hanks wrote to Robinson in a letter.  Roger Goodell was informed of the decision, and said "we felt this was the appropriate discipline."

The $40,000 is the minimum fine available to repeat offenders -- Robinson classifies, per the NFL, because of his hit on Jackson in 2010. At that time, Robinson was fined $50,000, but that fine was later reduced to $25,000.

"Robinson hit was violation because Maclin was defenseless by rule-had 'not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner,'" NFL VP of Communications Greg Aiello tweeted Monday.

Our own Pete Prisco, who was on the scene for the Falcons-Eagles tilt -- notes that the "Falcons didn't feel it was cheap." Atlanta head coach Mike Smith said following Sunday night's game that he believed the hit was legal and "that's the way we teach it."
NFL Week 2

"My opinion didn't change," Smith reiterated Monday.

If Robinson does appeal, his case will be heard by ex-NFL coaches Art Shell and Ted Cottrell and must be heard by the second Tuesday.

I wrote this morning that Robinson should be suspended by the NFL, and I still feel that way. He flagrantly went head-hunting on Maclin, and both players are lucky that the Eagles wideout didn't sustain a serious injury.

"Player safety is a priority and we will not relent on it," NFL VP of Football Operations Ray Anderson said over the summer. "Let me make it very clear, particularly in regard to repeat offenders, that egregious acts will be subject to suspension. We will not feel the need to hesitate in this regard."

Had the hit on Maclin resulted in the wideout being carted off the field (a la Austin Collie), would Robinson have been suspended? My guess -- which is, admittedly, a morbid hypothetical -- is that Robinson wouldn't be suiting up for the Falcons next game.

And that's a scary thought because it means the league remains reactive -- rather than proactive -- when it comes to player safety.

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Since: Nov 24, 2010
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:24 pm

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

How does Robinson get fined LESS for a repeat offense when he was fined more the 1st time last year? The NFL discipline is a joke. They wanna suspend Pryor games for what he did in college, which is fine, but will not suspend Robinson for even one game for trying to injure another player. Until the start either suspending guys for this nonsense, or pulling game checks, it will never end. They reduced his fine last year from 50K to 25K. Will they drop it this year to 20K? But they'll move the kick-off line to the 40 to prevent injuries??? Guys are still bringing the ball out from the back of the endzone and they still need to block until the return man takes a knee. Does anyone in that office have a brain? I don't think so.

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:14 pm

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

I must have missed where all of these Eagles fans mentioned the score of the game, or losing the game, in their posts.  In fact, I thought the dispute here had to do with a hit on a player and whether the fine was justified, and not even about winning or losing.  My bad.

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:12 pm

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

As Pop Warner kids and high-schoolers, your taught to tackle with your shoulders and arms. Looking at the picture posted, Robinson has no intention of "wrapping up" Maclin and is clearly going for a head-to-head hit. It's sad to hear the Falcons coaching staff say "that's the way we teach it".....they've lost their way.

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:03 pm

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit


Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:03 pm

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

More Eagles fans crying imagine that. You lost get over it. The guy has to questionable hits in over 500 tackles. Just cause he b!tch slaped your Eagles doesn't mean he's the dirtiest player out there. The guy that said Maclin had to dive and streatch out to catch that ball good try but it hit him in the arms. He was scared to get blasted again. Man up Eagles you and your Dream Team lost. Better get yourself a backup QB too. Vince isn't going to cut and Vick will be lucky to play 10 games

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:58 am

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

Although I disagree with taking the physical aspect out of the NFL, I do believe that spearing and/or forearms to the head have been penalties for quite some time. As far as the repeat offenders...... League needs to set a precedent if they are going to actually have any affect on these types of plays. Suspensions hurt not only the player who has violated the rules, but also affects his team. Peer pressure IS a good deterrent! Suspensions may also MAKE coaches coach correct tackling technique, since there is so little of it in the league these days. What happened to HIT WRAP AND DRIVE?

Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:48 am

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

I rarely post anything about these articles, but I feel I have to voice my opinion on this one.  The hit that Robinson put on Maclin was about as cheap a shot as they come.  Look, I am an Eagles fan, and I don't blame Robinson for the hit he put on Jackson last year.  As a matter of fact, I thought the leagues fine for that hit was unwarranted.  If you saw the hit on Jackson, what you would have seen was Kolb scrambling to his left and tossing an ill advised pass behind Jackson and basically hanging him out to dry.  Robinson hit him in the head yes, but Jackson turned into that hit, which was a bang bang thing.  The Maclin hit was different.  Maclin wasn't defensless, he was able able to take multiple steps prior to the hit.  Robinson lowered the crown of his helmet and launched himself at Maclin's head.  A fine is not near enough punishment for that type of play, repeat offender or not.  He should have been suspended for multiple games, and given notice that any action like that again will result in a league ban.  I don't really care about what kind of message that would send to the league, but plays like that can threaten someone's way of life now, and in the future.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:26 am

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

Robinson did not launch himself, he shifted his body but not once did he propel himself into the air.  Look, I'm not a Falcon fan in the slightest but Goodell is going to far.  Can't lead with your head is a flawed philospophy.

I always wondered why NFL fans on CBS keep blaming everything on Goodell? I have asked myself one question about a thousand times, and that question is do people on this site REALLY BELIEVE that Goodell is the only person part of the NFL's decision making process?????

It's unbelievable and quite sad but I honestly think that yes, people really are nuts around here.  So I'll try and educate a few people again on how things work in the NFL.  First of all the real answer is NO, Goodell does NOT make all of the decisions on his own.  He never will and never has made decisions without others being involved.  Goodell works for the owners, not for himself.  And the player's union has a lot to say of what goes on in the NFL.  There is something called a "CBA", maybe most of you have heard about it.  The union negotiated a new CBA with the owners, Goodell as commissioner represents the owners so that's why he's in the spotlight as much as he is.  Anything and everything Goodell says or does was and is approved by the union.  Everything he does is allowed based on the new CBA, there are no exceptions.  Goodell just doesn't wake up and make up new rules as he pleases, give me a break.

If the players didn't want Goodell to have the power to fine or suspend them they had their chance to change that when they negotiated a new CBA a few weeks ago.  Rumour has it the players wanted a committee made up of players and league representatives to make decisions that revolve around the punishment of players, but the players didn't get what they wanted.  If they felt strongly enough about this they should have sat out and refused to sign the new CBA until the owners agreed to take some of the commissioner's power away from him.  But, they didn't do that...

So now they must abide by the rules... Goodell WILL make decisions based on the new CBA.... end of story.  

Since: Sep 16, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:19 am

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

im pretty sure that hit was in his head but not during the last missed catch. it wasnt a perfect pass, he had to dive forward to try to make the catch as it was thrown ahead of him. jmac isnt the wuss you make him out to be.

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 10:55 am

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

Mike Smith said following Sunday night's game that he believed the hit was legal and "that's the way we teach it."  Really Coach Smith?  You teach to lower your helmet and hit with the crown?  In that case, slap a fine on Coach too!  The first time a kid slides a helmet on his head, he's immediately taught to "SEE WHAT YOU HIT".  This does not change, and players throughout their entire career, even into the NFL, are continuously reminded "SEE WHAT YOU HIT".  The only thing Dunta sees on this hit are the laces on his shoes (look at the picture above for proof).  He absolutely lowers his head and hits with the crown of his helmet and the fine is well deserved.  It's amazing to me how we contine to see hits like this.  They're not only putting the health and career of the ball carriers at risk, they are jeapordizing their own career and health at the same time.  And no, I'm not a fan of either of these squads.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or