Ted Cottrell heard an expedited appeal for Reed and ruled on Tuesday that the suspension was reversed and Reed would be fined $50,000 for his hit on Emmanuel Sanders Sunday night.
“I have determined that your actions were egregious and warrant significant discipline. However, I do not believe that your actions were so egregious as to subject you to a one-game suspension without pay," Cottrell wrote in a letter to Reed. "Player safety is the league's primary concern in the formation of playing rules and all players are expected to adhere to those rules or face disciplinary action. I hope in the future you will focus on ensuring that your play conforms to the rules."
Reed's suspension drew a ton of criticism from media around the NFL -- the hit on Sanders wasn't the sort of head-hunting action that the NFL wants to eliminate.
Additionally, Reed's previous two incidents involving defenseless receivers came in 2010 and 2012. The NFL previously announced in its fine schedule that the statute of limitations for suspending a player would include 2010 and 2011 when evaluating the three-strike incident and resulting suspensions.
Interestingly, even though Reed won his appeal, the NFL still managed to serve notice to defenders around the league: anyone is capable of being suspended.
It probably doesn't hurt that the NFL's appeals process suddenly looks incredibly fair either. Rescinding the suspension is obviously a nice win for the NFLPA, which managed to get Reed in front of Cottrell immediately and had the suspension flipped just about as quickly as we've ever seen.
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