Posted by Will Brinson
Brandon Meriweather, Dunta Robinson and James Harrison are a lot lighter in the wallet after today -- the NFL announced that Meriweather and Robinson will be fined $50,000 and Harrison will be fined $75,000, for their "devastating" hits from Sunday.
Chris Mortensen first reported Harrison's fine, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston initially dropped the news of Meriweather's fine and Fox Sports' Jay Glazer first reported that Robinson was fined $50,000 fine as well for his hit on Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
None of the players will be suspended, according to current reports, but make no mistake -- those are monster fines (remember that Rodney Harrison said he saved up $50K for a season) and the league is making a clear statement that it intends to back up its newly found desire to enforce a rule already in place.
Robinson's hit was called "illegal" by NFL VP Ray Anderson earlier, but it's still surprising that he'll receive the same amount as Meriweather, simply based on the intent behind the hit.
Harrison reportedly received more than Robinson and Meriweather because of "repeat offender" status. What's interesting about these fines is that the NFL doesn't appear to be discerning between a player's "intent" or not -- Meriweather essentially headbutted Todd Heap, while Robinson's hit on Jackson was, as Anderson put it, a "bang-bang play." Anderson calling the hit "illegal" indicates the league's belief that what a player was trying to do doesn't matter.
The reaction to these fines, from NFL players, should be interesting -- Chris Harris already told our own Dave Richard that the league's reaction was "knee-jerk," Antrell Rolle called it "absolutely ridiculous", and Aaron Curry tweeted that the fines were "absolutely crazy."
In a statement, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that "increased discipline for violating player-safety rules [will] include suspensions" but that there were no suspensions this week because "fair warning needed to be given to players and clubs before increased discipline starts to include game suspensions."
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