NFLPA's Smith knows Meriweather 'is sorry for what he said'
Earlier this week, Redskins S Brandon Meriweather said 'you've got to tear people's ACLs and mess up people's knees.' On Thursday, the NFLPA issued a statement regarding Meriweather's remarks.
When asked his thoughts on the suspension, Meriweather said, “The NFL had to do what they have to do, you know? 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."
A perfectly reasonable response had Meriweather stopped there. But he didn't.
“To be honest, man, you've just got to go low now, man," he continued. "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's underlying point -- that the legal area to hit a player continues to shrink -- is a legitimate gripe. And injuries like the ones suffered by Dustin Keller and Randall Cobb are the unintended consequences of actions not thought through entirely by the league. Yes, the NFL should thrive for making the game as safe as possible, but drastic changes don't come without ramifications. And the league can't argue that knee injuries were unforeseen because players lamented the possibly as soon as the new rules were announced.
That said, Meriweather can't just come out and proclaim that his solution is to start blowing up ACLs one player at a time.
On Wednesday, the NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith issued a statement regarding Meriweather's remarks.
“I spoke to Brandon. He is passionate about the game, and I know he is sorry for what he said. He is concentrating on helping his team win the rest of the season. Brandon knows that all players have a responsibility to each other and to play within the rules of the game.”
Lhe league has no plans to punish Meriweather further.
“We are not approaching it as a matter that requires discipline,” league spokesman Greg Aiello told USAToday.com.
Meanwhile, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett expects Meriweather to play within the rules going forward.
If you're keeping score, 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. With the Bears in 2011, 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.
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