The NFL has fined San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks $15,750 for his hit on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Brooks was penalized for a personal foul on the play, which negated a sack and fumble and ultimately led to a Saints victory. Brooks was enraged after the flag was thrown and plans to appeal the fine, but the 49ers suffered a costly defeat in the process.
It is not unusual for a defensive player to be fined in the modern-day NFL, but the fine levied upon Brooks can be seen as unnecessary and excessive. Dean Blandino, NFL vice president of officiating, weighed in on the hit to the NFL Network, stating “If there’s force to that contact, it’s a foul. Watch the initial contact, maybe around the shoulder, but it rides up into the neck area and brings the quarterback down with force.”
Many analysts and fans around the country disagree with Blandino’s interpretation of the rule, and several former players including Ray Lewis and Tedy Bruschi have offered to pay part of Brooks’ fine.
Questionable calls against defenses have become prevalent in the “new” NFL, but when will the players take a stand against all these controversial calls? These calls are just the next step in the devaluation of football. Players that were once celebrated for big hits are now being condemned and met with flags and fines. Defenses are becoming extinct and the sport’s integrity is being compromised, but nobody seems ready to stop the bleeding.
Safety is important to the game, but how far can football go with these changes without the sport becoming unrecognizable?
Greg Douglas is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.