There aren’t many times that I sit down and readily agree with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, but this issue is definitely one of them.
Texans safety Bernard Pollard was fined $40,000 today for a hit on a defenseless receiver against the Titans in Week 12’s 23-0 win. The NFL continues to be really poor with consistently applying it’s fines to players. It occurred on the Titans final drive of the game, and looked like a questionable unnecessary roughness call. Pollard appeared, to my eyes, to be leading with the shoulder rather than the helmet. You can decide for yourself by watching this .gif of the incident. It’s one thing for the NFL’s referees to blow a call on the field. It hurts the game on the field, but at least it’s an honest mistake. But if, after extensive tape review, the league determined that THIS hit was worth $40,000 of Pollard’s game check, then they need to go back to the drawing board and figure out where they went wrong.
It gets even worse when you compare it side-by-side to Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan’s fight in the game. Pollard was playing the game and landed a shoulder into a receiver’s helmet. Johnson and Finnegan yanked each others helmets’ off, then Johnson laid waste to Finnegan’s head with his fists. Intentionally. They were both ejected for the play. Yet they were both fined just $25,000.
Pollard might be a repeat offender of the rules, but this is a ridiculous fine in comparison to the events that transpired on the field. On the bright side, if the NFL continues to be this ridiculous when it comes to defensive hits, this Texans defense might actually look good in a few years when the league completes it’s transformation into the Arena Football League.
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