Tag:Brandon Meriweather
Posted on: October 24, 2010 12:25 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2010 12:39 pm
 

NFL to use length of injury-based suspensions?

Posted by Will Brinson

It would be almost surprising if no one gets suspended during Week 7's NFL action; even though the NFL made their intentions known the past week by slinging out fines like [insert your own Lindsay Lohan joke here], it's going to be tough for every single defensive player in the league to avoid landing any devastating hits. 

But how long will any player making an illegal hit be suspended? Excellent question -- there's a chance that it could involve how much time the "victim" of the hit misses.

That's according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who reported on television that the NFL is considering suspensions that correspond to the length of time the opponent misses based on their injury.

As Michael David Smith noted at Pro Football Talk, this is a logistical nightmare, if just for the reason that suspending a superstar cornerback or linebacker for the season after another team's scrub is placed on IR with a "season-ending injury" (if you know what I mean) simply isn't fair.

That being said, the NFL could institute this "eye-for-eye" with some sort of cap -- like, hypothetically, if Todd Heap misses time because Brandon Meriweather's hit injured him, Meriweather will miss as much time as Heap, up to three weeks.

Whether or not a player purposely went after the opponent could also be a factor, but the league's shown over the past week it doesn't care much for emotions or intentions when it comes to dangerous hits, so don't count on that changing the length of suspension.

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Posted on: October 21, 2010 5:53 pm
 

Givin 'Em the Business: Stupid, Soft Brains

Posted by Will Brinson

Givin Em the Business (yes we were on hiatus, sorry, we're back now) recognizes all the people that annoyed us from the week that was in football. Feel free to provide nominations either in the comments or by yelling at us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .


Rank Who Why

1

Concussions
We like to blame aggressive players or equipment or rules, but you know who's really to blame? The stupid soft brain tissue that sits in all of our skulls. If it was tough, like a real man, then it wouldn't be so easily bruised and hurt and injured and we could just run around all acting like Bill Romanowski and slamming our heads into walls and punching ourselves. Dumb brain.

2

Brett Favre
Sure, he didn't release the alleged photos of his "Crocs" and he's doing his part to avoid answering questions (which, actually, is kind of irritating), but the fact that Favre has somehow managed to INCREASE the level of attention paid to him since the last time he stormed into Lambeau Field to stab Packers fans in the back with a Viking spear is just flat out amazing. Impressive, really, if it wasn't No. 4.

3

James Harrison
All due respect to a guy who's a great defender, but come on, bruh, no one's buying this retirement chatter. You get paid $51 million to play freaking football. If that means that a) you need to realize how lucky you are or b) just take it down a notch and not lead with your helmet on every single play, well, so be it -- there ain't anyone else out there willing to give you this kind of cheddar for this kind of work. 

4

Brandon Meriweather
Hey, Brandon, remember that scene in Good Will Hunting when Robin Williams ends up screaming, "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT! IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT, WILL!" to Matt Damon? Well, pretend like you're Matt Damon and this is Opposite Day, because THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT! Alright, that might be a stretch, but if you hadn't gone headbutthunting at Todd Heap, there's a good chance we wouldn't have spent all week demanding that the NFL have some responsibility towards big hits. So thanks for nothing.

5

NFL Security
It's hard to define exactly how the NFL's investigation into Brett Favre's alleged sending of racy pictures should really progress. But it's not hard to determine that, because Jenn Sterger is the person who allegedly received pictures of Favre's "stuff" and A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin is the person who published pictures of the alleged "stuff," they should be interviewed. Certainly not before the pictures were released, but certainly before Day 25* of the Favre Croc Shot Watch. (*approximate)

6

Celebration Penalties
It'd be one thing if the NFL had solved the world's problems and completely eliminated the health issues surrounding football and then decided to attack the clear world-killing evils of excessive touchdown celebrations. But the league declared (three years ago) that players would be punished for big hits and instead decided to focus on tagging people for using cell phones in the end zone. To wit: last week, Miles Austin and Roy Williams got tagged for 15 more penalty yards because they used leapfrogs and Texas handsigns than Brandon Meriweather for acting like the Texas mascot on Todd Heap's head.

7

Jack Del Rio/ESPN
Now, this is about as alleged as anything that involves Brett Favre, but -- allegedly -- ESPN network people asked Jeff Fisher and Jack Del Rio to call timeouts during the Titans blowout of the Jaguars on Monday night. That would be swell and all except that a) it's so corporately creepy and b) it allowed Chris Johnson to break a 35-yard TD run that caused tons of fantasy owners to lose their week. HOW DARE YOU THINK THAT MILLIONS IN ADVERTISING MONEY IS WORTH MORE THAN ME WINNING A WEEK OF FAKE FOOTBALL, ESPN?

8

JaMarcus Russell
Even though his interview was a great get for Inside the NFL, it's still disappointing to see a guy like Russell be anything other than 100 percent humble in the face of what amounts to possibly the most disappointing career in NFL history. Not to mention his refusal to play anywhere other than the NFL robbed us all from millions of snarky "UFL weigh-in" jokes.

9

Trade Deadline
Not that anyone got too worked up about the whole deadline business -- after all, only Albert Haynesworth, Vincent Jackson and maybe Willis McGahee were candidates to get dealt -- but there needs to be something in place to make it spicier. The MLB and NBA deadlines are two of the most exciting days in their respective sports and, frankly, look at how much more popular they are than the NBA. But, no, no, seriously, can't we like give picks to people who make crazy trades at the deadline or something? We already had the most insane in-season trading year ever in 2010 and we could've used a little more action, if only to stop talking about Favre's shoes.

10

Vincent Jackson
Good to see you back, buddy! After all, you only totally hosed your teammates, your front office and anyone who drafted you in fantasy football. But, no, no with Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee getting hurt, you're probably not too excited about your bargaining position, right? Ugh. 
Posted on: October 21, 2010 10:23 am
 

Where does NFL draw line on glorifying hits?

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Butkus (US Presswire)
The NFL was caught in an embarrassing position Wednesday when league officials had to apologize for its photo vendor (Replay Photos) selling shots of the James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather hits that, hours earlier, had resulted in the two players being heavily fined. Obviously, the league cannot glorify and profit from the very violence that it is so vehemently denouncing.
 
On this note, let’s raise the question of, Where is the line drawn?

Should the NFL affiliate itself with video games that glorify illegal hits? Or, what about old NFL Films clips of guys like Jack Tatum, Mel Blount or Ronnie Lott laying the wood to defenseless receivers? Those hits were not illegal at the time, but that doesn’t mean they were any less violent.

This is not to imply that the league should stop showing video of those old hits; we’re merely opening a dialogue about whether it should. You could argue that not showing those old clips is, in a way, a form of censorship or rewriting history. But you could also argue that it’s hypocritical for the league to glorify what would now be illegal hits with Sam Spence music and slow motion replay on its own DVD or television special.

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Posted on: October 20, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 1:52 pm
 

Emotional Meriweather: 'I'm sorry for the hit'

Posted by Will Brinson

Brandon Meriweather's gotten more flak than anyone else during this whole "he hit my helmet/she hit my helmet" NFL kerfuffle this week, just because his hit was considered the dirtiest of them all.

Good news is, he's very sorry about what he did.

"Once again, I’m going to say I’m sorry for the hit. I understand the league is trying to protect the health of all our players," Merriweather, who according to Mike Reiss 'might have been fighting [to] keep his emotions in check,' said.

"To be honest, I just want all this to go away. I want to focus, with the rest of my team, on the Chargers and really not let this come up again. I’m going to try my best to play within the rules, like my coach had always taught us. I’m going to hit and play the game like my coaches have always taught us. Even in training camp, we have always been taught the proper way to hit. Just focus on that and try to put it in my game in some way, shape or fashion.

"From here on, I’m focusing on the Chargers. Anything else spoken about this, I will not comment on."

It's great that he's publicly repentant, although it won't get him 10 percent of his salary back any time soon. And it won't change how the NFL approaches his play on the field if he doesn't turn those feelings into physical behavior on the field.

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Posted on: October 20, 2010 11:06 am
 

NFL regrets sale of big hit photos on website

Posted by Will Brinson

Perhaps you recall something yesterday about concussions and big hits? Yeah, it was mentioned briefly, and some people got fined and the NFL vowed to stop the on-the-field vigilantes who were running around and launching themselves into other players.

And then they forgot to get their photo vendors to get rid of all the pictures of those big hits. Replay Photos, an outside photo vendor, had the James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather pictures available for sale.

The problem with that is the access from NFL.com to Replay Photos, as well as the fact that with everything going on, the NFL didn't properly vet the full collection of photos before posting them up.

Greg Aiello, NFL spokesman, issued the following statement on Wednesday morning: "We regret [the] mistake. Those photos will be removed ASAP & we will ensure no photos of illegal plays are available again."

It's what the NFL has to do -- if it continued to profit off the big hits that people love (but which are dangerous) while fining the players who's actions were photographed, the outcry would be insane. And the hypocrisy would be a bit much too -- but it's safe to say that they still have some work to do on the store end of things.

Since, you know, anyone with a credit card can go purchase "Moment of Impact" and go "under the pile with some of the game's roughest customers"! 

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Posted on: October 19, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 6:04 pm
 

NFL system for fines is outrageously unfair

Posted by Andy Benoit

Of the three players nailed by the NFL’s financial hammer Tuesday – James Harrison, Dunta Robinson and Brandon Meriweather – one was hit significantly harder than the other two. And no, it wasn’t Harrison, even though his fine of $75,000 was a full $25,000 more than the fines issued to the defensive backs.B. Meriweather (US Presswire)

The player hit the hardest was Meriweather – big time, in fact. Why? Harrison is making $3.55 million in 2010. Robinson is making $5 million this season. Meriweather? He’s making just $550,000 this season (plus a $150,000 workout bonus).

This in mind, Meriweather’s fine was about 10 times more damaging than the other two players’ fines. That’s not right.

The NFL can fix this by changing fines from a flat rate to a percentage a player’s salary. This change is a MUST if the NFL is going to be heavily fining players for safety issue violations. Think about it: Meriweather now has a serious deterrent from delivering an illegal hit. After all, he just lost 10 percent of his 2010 base pay. But what is Robinson’s deterrent? He lost a mere one percent of his base pay.

Perhaps the threat of suspension will be an equalizer and enough of a deterrent. But still, it’s plain unfair that Meriweather takes 10 times the financial ding that Robinson does. And this happens all the time in the NFL. Undrafted rookies are fined the same amount as superstar veterans when it comes to celebration violations, uniform infractions, ill-timed tweets, etc. Essentially, the NFL is using flat tax principles when it could be using progressive tax principles.

Because of front-loaded contracts and signing bonuses, fining players based on their salary in the current year probably wouldn’t work. But the league could base fines around the guaranteed money of a player’s contract. So, instead of simply fining a player $50,000, the league would fine him, say, 0.5 percent of his guaranteed money (or whatever percent is deemed appropriate). To keep with this example, a $50,000 fine would be issued to a player making $10 million guaranteed. The league and NFLPA are already negotiating a new CBA – add this to the agenda.

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Posted on: October 19, 2010 4:40 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 5:13 pm
 

Fines: Harrison $75K; Meriweather, Robinson $50K

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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Posted on: October 19, 2010 10:16 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 10:39 am
 

Ray Anderson: 'We are not changing any rules'

Posted by Will Brinson

Anyone paying attention to professional football this weekend noticed a plethora of big (or, if you prefer, "devastating," which Ray Anderson may or may not, depending on which ESPN personality he's talking to) hits that resulted in the league announcing that it would begin to suspend players for these big hits.

This news, which Andy and I predicted recently, was met with relatively widespread acceptance, although if NFL VP of Football Operations Ray Anderson is to be understood, it's not actually a change from what the league's been doing thus far.

"We are not changing any rules, just enforcing the existing rules to protect our players," Ray Anderson said on ESPN's Radio "Mike & Mike."

Technically, that's correct -- the NFL and its officials have the power to suspend players and eject them from games for "egregious" hits, respectively. But neither party has done a spectacular job of enforcement thus far. According to Anderson, that will change now.

"I don't know where the word 'devastating' came from -- that's not my word," Anderson said. "What I would say is that  if there are flagrant and egregious [violations] of the rules, we will be enforcing immediately discipline at a higher level. 

We need to get our players firmly in line with the current rules and that's what our intentions are effective immediately."

(Quickly: Anderson supposedly used "devastating" in talking to Chris Mortenson on Monday night, then he denied using it -- see above, then Mort said on SportsCenter that Anderson DID use it. Just to catch you up.)

And that's the key: the NFL wants the players to get in line, and that doesn't just apply to intentions. In fact, Anderson said that intent wouldn't be considered the primary concern, while instead stressing the importance of "liability" on the part of the tackling player.

In other words, James Harrison is responsible for adjusting his pad level to Mohamed Massaquoi, when Massaquoi, as the ballcarrier, drops the ball. Brandon Meriweather's "hit" (read: headbutt) on Todd Heap was considered "egregious" by Anderson, and that's good news -- even without the NFL's policy shift, the Patriots safety escaping sans fine would be shocking.

Perhaps the most interesting case is with Dunta Robinson and DeSean Jackson. Robinson's intention, at least interpreted by 90 percent of the people watching and involved with the game, weren't malicious, even if the result was "illegal." But Anderson said that doesn't matter.

"Yes, it was a bang-bang play ... but at the end of the day it was still illegal under the rules," Anderson said of Robinson's hit.

In other words, the NFL is far more concerned with taking the letter of the law (which is currently established under the league's rules) and making sure to enforce it.

" "We're not going to be apologetic, we're not going to be defensive about it," Anderson said.

That's not a surprising attitude from the NFL -- and in this situation, it's appropriate -- but the challenge won't come with the backlash towards the NFL's attitude. The problem will come with the backlash to the NFL's enforcement on and off the field for these hits.

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