James Harrison has been fined yet again for hitting Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick with his helmet. This is just the latest for Harrison, and it brings the total of his fines for the year to $125,000, including $5,000 for his hit against Vince Young, $75,000 for Mohamed Massaquoi, and $20,000 against Drew Brees. Pete pointed out today that $25,000 is the amount Richard Seymour got for hitting Ben Roethlsiberger after the whistle, as well as the amount Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan each got for beating the crap out of each other. I don’t think the penalty Harrison took for the hit against Fitzpatrick was off-base, but I do agree with Pete that the NFL is sending a bizarre message by making fines for non-malicious football hits the same as fines for sucker-punches and flat-out brawls. Come on, NFL. You can do better.
Here’s the video of Harrison’s hit on Fitzpatrick. He does pretty clearly go into Fitzpatrick helmet-first. That’s something he needs to learn to stop doing. But I don’t think it’s anywhere near the same as some of the ugly things we’ve seen from the likes of Seymour, Johnson and Finnegan in the past few weeks.