GREEN BAY, Wis. — A few years ago, a block of this nature might have been part of NFL highlight reels to define hard-hitting football. But with player safety a main emphasis nowadays, the block that Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley put on Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was deemed to be illegal.
Finley was fined $15,750 for what an NFL spokesperson described as “unnecessarily striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area.”
But Finley is not accepting the fine without a fight.
“It was just another way they (the NFL) can make a lot of money,” Finley told FOXSportsWisconsin.com in the locker room Friday. “They take money easy. I appealed it and am moving forward with it.”
Finley later posted his thoughts on Twitter, writing, “Thanks To NFL For The Fine For Playing Football.”
Finley’s agent, Blake Baratz, also commented on the fine that his client received.
“Currently battling 1000% on fine appeals this (year), but we’re going to need another victory for (Finley); another terrible call,” Baratz wrote on Twitter. “Fine 4 (Finley) is a joke. Gr8 LEGAL block. AND NFL, please stop pretending that thousands of $’s r pennies. Some of us value a dollar.”
The play, which Finley was not penalized for in the Week 6 game, occurred late in the first quarter on a pitch to Packers running back Johnathan Franklin. Finley was lined up outside but moved inside at the time of the snap. Then, Finley executed what appears to be a shoulder-to-shoulder block that flattened Suggs.
An NFL spokesperson later emailed FOXSportsWisconsin.com to clarify that the rule Finley violated was Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 (a) (9). That’s the NFL’s crackback rule that was put into place before the 2012 season.