Houston wideout Andre Johnson ripped the helmet off Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan and the two came to blows during yesterday’s Titans-Texans game. It’s not often fights come this far before being broken by NFL officials, and the players are sure to be disciplined by the NFL.
Some presume a one-game suspension is in the players’ future.
But looking to the past for a standard on NFL fines would indicate the league has no grounds for such a punishment.
Last week, when Raiders’ tackle Richard Seymour slugged Ben Roethlisberger, Seymour was fined a mere $25,000 – chump change for a guy collecting more than $12 million annually.
A one-game suspension would cost Johnson about $320,000 and Finnegan about $160,000, plus whatever fine league officials decide to levy. Sure, their fight was worse than Seymour’s – but not tenfold worse.
Earlier this year, the league fined James Harrison $75,000 for leading with his helmet when hitting an opponent. At least that was a football play. Seymour was disciplined less severely for intentionally injuring an opponent.
The NFL backed itself into a corner by doling out such a weak punishment on Seymour’s hit. It was entirely inconsistent with its public stance on endangering offensive players. And now, the league has backed itself into a corner as it considers punishing the two participants in this brawl.
Here’s video of the Johnson-Finnegan incident:
And here’s video of Seymour:
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.