Back in Week 7, Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was flagged twice for illegal hits to the head of Bears' receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Afterwards, Marshall, one of the NFL's most physically imposing wide receivers, said Meriweather "needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely."
Well, the league suspended Meriweather two games without pay for repeated violations to the NFL's safety rules prohibiting hits to the head, which was later reduced to one game for reasons that still remain unclear.
On Monday, Meriweather, fresh off suspension, was asked about Marshall's comments.
"He feel like I need to be kicked out of the league? I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out too," he said, via the Washington Times' Zac Boyer.
Meriweather was referring to a 2007 incident in which Marshall was arrested on domestic violence charges against his then-girlfriend. (Those charges were dropped.) The girlfriend later filed a civil suit against Marshall, which was dismissed last September.
"You tell me who you'd rather have," Meriweather continued, "Somebody who play aggressive on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?"
Meriweather also shared his thoughts on his tackling style, which has landed him in plenty of trouble with the league during his career.
“The NFL had to do what they have to do, you know?” he said. “I guess they felt like suspending me for a game was the right thing to do to make an example – that they don't tolerate aggressive plays.
“To be honest, man, you've just got to go low now, man. You've got to end people's careers, you know? You've got to tear people's ACLs and mess up people's knees now. You can't hit them high no more. You've just got to go low.”
Meriweather could have chosen his words more carefully but his point remains: The forever-shrinking area defenders are allowed to target means that knee injuries will be an unintended consequence of aggressively enforcing penalties for head shots.
Still, those comments won't go over well at NFL headquarters. Days after the league reduces Meriweather's suspension, he proclaims that ending careers and blowing out ACLs is his most prudent course. Hey, at least he's not head-hunting!
To recap: In addition to last week's suspension, Meriweather was fined $42,000 earlier this season for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers running back Eddie Lacy. In 2011, his only year with the Bears, he was fined $20,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit and another $25,000 for unnecessary roughness. In 2010 with the Patriots, Meriweather was fined $50,000 (later reduced to $40,000) for a vicious hit on then-Ravens tight end Todd Heap.
For a league that preaches safety, it sure has a funny way of punishing its frequent offenders.