I do not want to call Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather a dirty player because it does not appear that he is intentionally trying to hurt people. With that being said, there is no question in my mind he deserved to be suspended two games by the NFL for his outrageous hits on running backs and wide receivers this season.
Meriweather caused an uproar for his vicious hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy in the first quarter of the Week 2 contest. Meriweather clearly led with his head and crushed Lacy. The result was a concussion for the rookie and a $42,000 fine for Meriweather. It should be pointed out that Meriweather attempted to lead with his head against Packers running back James Starks in the same game. However, Starks lowered his body, which forced Meriweather to take the entire blow.
The 29-year-old was flagged on Sunday for a couple of dangerous hits on Chicago Bears wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Even though Meriweather insists he is not intentionally trying to harm anyone, the evidence is starting to stack up against him.
“The last two, three weeks, I tried everything possible,” Meriweather said, according to the Washington Post. “I lowered my target. As y’all could see, I lowered my target. I stopped using my head. I’m using my shoulder. No matter what I do, honestly I feel like I’m gonna be in the wrong. If I hit you with my shoulder and I slide up, they’re gonna say it’s head to head. If I hit them too low, I think somebody just got flagged for hitting somebody too low. So I think it all depends on who’s watching. I don’t think we can be right.”
The reason I believe Meriweather deserved the suspension he received is because he clearly does not feel the weight of the fines. In fact, it does not appear the fines are really doing anything for the NFL. Defenders are still leading with their heads and playmakers are still getting hurt. It appears suspensions are the only way for the league to get through to certain players.