NFL fines 12 more players in crackdown
NEW YORK (AP)
The NFL fined 12 more players Friday, mostly for unnecessary roughness in games last weekend, sending another strong message that violent conduct wouldn't be tolerated.
Minnesota defensive end Ray Edwards was fined the most, $20,000, for spearing Cowboys running back Marion Barber on Sunday. Edwards was cited as a repeat offender; he was previously fined Aug. 28 for roughing the passer and Sept. 26 for unnecessary roughness.
''I just got fined $20,000 for a spear that really wasn't a spear,'' Edwards said. ''If you look at the last play, (Dallas tackle Marc) Colombo speared Jared (Allen) and I don't believe he got fined. If you're going to fine people, fine everybody. Don't just fine defensive guys.''
The league did not fine Colombo.
Earlier this week, huge fines were given for flagrant fouls by Pittsburgh's James Harrison ($75,000), Atlanta's Dunta Robinson and New England's Brandon Meriweather (both $50,000). The league also promised suspensions for players who make illegal hits on defenseless opponents. A video was sent to the 32 teams explaining what hits are considered legal and illegal.
The 15 fines were unusually high for one week, a signal of the NFL's resolve to police violent play. Generally, either a $5,000 or $10,000 fine is handed out for roughness. In this week's total all but two were for roughness. On Oct. 1 the league also issued 15 fines, 10 for roughness.
Included in the latest penalties:
- New Orleans cornerback Malcolm Jenkins was fined $10,000 for two hits, one to the head area of Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman and one out of bounds.
- Tennessee defensive end William Hayes was fined $10,000 for a late hit, while teammate Dave Ball was given a $5,000 fine for roughing the passer with a hit to the head or neck area against Jacksonville.
- Three Houston players were fined $5,000: guard Wade Smith for a leg whip, defensive end Adewale Ogunleye for a late hit on Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel, and safety Bernard Pollard for hitting a Chiefs player out of bounds.
- Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb was fined $5,000 for a horse-collar tackle on Atlanta's William Moore while Moore was returning an interception.
- Minnesota receiver Bernard Berrian was fined $5,000 for a late hit on Dallas DE Jason Hatcher.
- Detroit guard Stephen Peterman was fined $7,500 for a late hit.
- San Diego linebacker Antwan Barnes was fined $5,000 for unnecessarily striking St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford in the chest and neck.
Harrison, who threatened to retire after the NFL's crackdown, was fined for his tackle of Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, who suffered a concussion. He also had a hard hit on former college teammate Joshua Cribbs.
On Friday, Cribbs told his friend not to change the way he plays, and that Harrison's job is to simply ''knock people out.''
Cribbs, who played at Kent State with Harrison, believes he helped persuade Pittsburgh's big hitter not to retire.
AP Sports Writers Tom Withers in Cleveland and Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this story.