KUSA - After blasting Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in the helmet four times last Thursday, the NFL blasted back at the Denver Broncos today, hitting them where it hurts professional athletes most.
I thought the league got it exactly right.
First, they didn’t fine Von Miller or Shaq Barrett. Their hits to Newton's head were deemed accidental.
The biggest fine, correctly, went to Broncos' linebacker Brandon Marshall. He got docked $24,309.
PREVIOUS STORY: Broncos' Marshall, Stewart fined for hits on Cam Newton
“I wasn’t expecting that amount,'' Marshall said. "Truth be told I was expecting Stew to get more than me. But I guess his was more justified. But $24,000 and someone was saying that it wasn’t enough. I’m like, 'What you mean that’s some peoples' salaries after taxes'. That’s crazy.’’
Safety Darian Stewart was fined $18,231.
“I felt like he was running with the ball, I was just trying to make a play,'' Stewart said of Newton. "He had been doing that the whole game. I was just being aggressive but not really trying to aim for the head.’’
Marshall and Stewart may think those fines are hefty -- and they will appeal in hopes of getting their fines reduced -- but they got no more than the minimum for first-time offenders. Marshall will pay a steeper penalty because he fell under the category of launching and illegal use of his helmet. Stewart was a straight roughing the passer infraction.
“I know what it looked like,'' Marshall said. "I know it looked bad. But that’s a lot of money.
Marshall’s been giving away money left and right this week. He lost two endorsements because of his protest that involved kneeling during the National Anthem (although he is expected to pick up one endorsement), he got fined, and then he set up a charitable fund where he will give $300 for every tackle he makes this year to social issue groups. The league gives revenue from fines, by the way, to retired player funds.
Some hits to the wallet hurts less than others.
Now about the Broncos' reputation. Four hits to the quarterback's head has brought claims of dirty play.
“They call it dirty but we just call it Bronco football,'' said cornerback Aqib Talib. "We’re playing full speed to the whistle. ... We only get to play one way and that’s full speed so we’re going to play full speed. Things happen, sometimes guys duck ... sometimes things happen but when you’re playing full speed some things might happen.''
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