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Blog Entry

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:34 am
Posted by Will Brinson

Last Sunday, Roman Harper of the Saints laid what I thought was one of the cheapest shots I've seen in a while on Panthers wide receiver. In a nutshell, Harper tackled a defenseless Smith in the end zone after Smith scored, because he was mad Smith walked into the end zone on a long touchdown.

For his actions, Harper was fined $15,000 by the NFL on Thursday. Which, frankly, seems a little low, especially considering how unapologetic Harper was.

"I just was like, 'You’re not going to walk and showboat in our end zone like that,'" Harper said. "I just lost it, and maybe I shouldn’t have hit him but I did. I’m not going to apologize for what I did."

Does Harper even realize the game was played in Carolina?

Whatever, the result of Harper's hit was Smith trying to figure out exactly what happened, then spinning the ball even harder than he usually does, and then a near fight between a bunch of players in the game. No one was ejected.

Presumably, Harper's being fined for a "late hit," which is actually only a $7,500 minimum for first-time violators. $15,000 is the amount players are fined for the second violation, but it seems more likely that the NFL cranked up the amount of his fine based on the flagrant nature of what he did.

And it still wasn't enough for the absolutely unnecessary cheap shot he got on Smith.

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Since: Apr 21, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 4:34 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

Too bad it was not a prison ball game, Steve would have prolly given him a knuckle sandwich.

Since: May 16, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2011 4:33 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

Biased are we?

Since: Mar 12, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 4:04 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

So according to you NO MATTER when the hit is its okay as long as its "legal".  How many players celebrate after scoring a touchdown. Plus if you watch the reply the DB didnt fall down, Smith caught the damn ball and stiff armed him in mid air making the DB go down. Smith didnt taunt harper at all for the cheap shot. He walked into the endzone like tons of players do when they know they can get in without being caught. If its not for Harper's action none of the ensuing shit happens. You was to fine people 15k for hits that are bang-bang and then fine a guy 15k for a very late hit thats just the NFL saying we dont care what you do or when you do it you wont get fined harsh. The NFL had a chance to make an example outta Harper and sissied out on it. They should have suspended the dude

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:43 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

Smith made a great play on the ball, Harper was in the wrong but these things happen.  He's been fined for it and now everyone can move on.  This is a passionate league and players make emotional mistakes, even Steve Smith will tell you that.

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:33 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

So, I just rewatched the video of the hit and melee afterward.  The problem with Harper's explanation is that at no point before the late hit did Smith "walk and showboat in our end zone like that."  Smith beat the defender, ran toward the goal line, then slowed down some (not walking) when he got near the goal line - just like nearly every player that knows they can't be caught at that point.

That is exactly how I saw it. I am a fan of neither team and have an unbiased opinion. He wasn't trying to showboat at that point.
Smith trotted into the endzone rather than sprinting because when he looked behind him, no one was within 40 feet at that time. If he saw harper coming from his blindspot, maybe he speeds up just a little more. There is no sense for a WR to run full speed when no one is around and then try to stop themselves on a dime so they dont run into the camera crew in the back of the endzone. That is how many players pull hamstrings. When they try to go from full speed to slow or stop.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:23 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

Smith's action can break a neck...

I think you are being a bit dramatic.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:20 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

Nice, boomer12. Did you just learn how to type curse words? Sounds like you need a tissue.

Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:18 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

cant say I am a die hard saints fan, but do like to see them win.

as a football player/coach I see this differently

1- Smith did taunt Harper
2- Harper was NOT the corner man that was beat, in fact nobody was beat, nice catch DB falls down
3- Harper let smith know, score that's fine, taunt and get hit
4- Harper did NOT launch and hit smith, he hit him high AND made a point (sort of like a high inside pitch in BB)
5- Smith did go after Harper, but waited til his posse got there (who's the puss..)
6- You grab my facemask you will get broken in half.

if NFL wants to fine Harper $15,000 for the late hit fine

fine Smith for the blatant facemask and flip...  $50,000 minimum

Harper's hit did NO damage and would no cause damage other than smith's ego

Smith's action can break a neck...

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:16 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

if you are a professional, you should be able to control yourself despite what another player does. He can say it was disrespectful, he can say he was defending his turf, he can say he was standing up for his team. The bottom line, though, is that he showed a complete lack of control and a blatant disregard for another player. If you can't take a guy rubbing a score in your face, don't let him get there or grow some thicker skin...

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:15 pm

Roman Harper fined $15K for shot on Steve Smith

I'm also a long time Saints fan, and two things jumped out at me about the play in question.  The first was how great a play Steve Smith made on the catch.  The guy must have a 40" vertical, because he needed every bit of that to snag the pass away from the corner back at the top of his jump.  The second was what a cheap shot Roman Harper took at Smith by hitting him 5 yds into the end zone and about two full seconds after Smith crossed the goal line.  Late hits and other cheap shots are NOT what the Saints are about.  Harper should probably have been tossed out of the game, it was that egregious.  Smith didn't do any "showboating" on the play, so that excuse is garbage.  If Harper wants to "protect our endzone," then try keeping people OUT OF IT.  Late hits on TD plays only emphasizes how poorly you are actually doing at protecting your endzone!

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