I have been a harsh critic in recent years about the NFL‘s increase in fines and suspensions. I believe that the NFL has been a little bit overzealous in their quest to make the game safer for players.
The NFL did get one suspension right on Monday, when the league suspended Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather for the first two games of the regular season following his vicious hit on Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith:
THIS JUST IN: Redskins S Brandon Meriweather is suspended without pay for 1st 2 games of season for 6th violation of unnecessary roughness.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 25, 2014
Meriweather’s hit was a classic case of unnecessary roughness. For those wondering why I am being a little harsh on Meriweather, you have to consider his past. The league has fined him five times for putting these types of hits on defenseless players, with the latest coming just last season, when he leveled Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers.
Meriweather is known for landing these types of hits, so it really was about time that the league decided to sit him out for a couple of games. In my opinion, the league did not do enough. With a player with the history such as Meriweather, he should had been suspended for the first six games of the season, not two.
This is how you make the game safer, by punishing the players who play the game with reckless abandon, not by fining players for dunking a ball on the goal-post. For all of the criticism I laud on the league, this is one discipline decision that they got right.