League Will Not Allow Ochocinco to Reimburse Mason Foster if Fined for Hit

Roger Goodell is not the biggest Chad Ochocinco fan.  Anyone who watches football knows that and understands why.  Ochocinco constantly undermines the commish by accepting fines for quirky antics and end zone dances and continuing to do his thing anyway.  While most of his actions likely anger the competition, Ochocinco is trying a new approach toward screwing with Goodell that even his teammates might enjoy.

On Friday, Ochocinco made an offer to the man who drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for a vicious hit on him night before. “@Mason_Foster great hit last night, if u’re fined I’ll reimburse you boss. That’s the way the game should b played. Stay healthy n have a good yr,” Chad tweeted to Tampa Bay linebacker Mason Foster.

Foster has not yet been fined, but NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Pro Football Talk on Saturday that it is not permitted for a player to pay another player’s fine.  Aiello insists a player has to pay any fine by himself. We all know teams pay fines for players all the time, but that’s a discussion for another day.

With the NFL working hard to crack down on head shots and making people like James Harrison cry, this will likely send Goodell up a wall.  Ocho cannot reimburse Foster for the fine or he could face a fine of his own, but who’s to say he can’t buy a pair of cleats off Foster for an amount that coincidentally equals the amount of the fine?  Isn’t that what capitalism is all about?

Head butt to Musket Fire for the picture.

Head Shots Are a Problem in Youth Football as Well (Video)

Here’s another perfect example of why the NFL’s push to cut down on head shots is important.  Helmet-to-helmet contact is a problem throughout all levels of football, and unfortunately that includes Pee Wee.  Guyism posted a video on Tuesday that may look funny at first, but gets pretty disturbing the more you watch it.  I’ll let you have a look at it before I weigh in.  Check out this Pee Wee football head shot video:

That’s effed up on so many levels.  First of all, what kind of coach makes 8-year-old kids go through a hardcore drill where they’re trying to truck each other?  Yeah, it’s all part of the game but it looks a little too intense to be going on with kids this age.  Secondly, the kid who was trying to make the tackle is laying motionless on the ground.  I have no idea whether he’s actually hurt or not, but it’s not fun to look at.  Lastly, and most importantly in my opinion, look at the kid who was carrying the ball after the play.  Doesn’t go over to his teammate, who’s laying flat on his back, to check if he’s okay.  The kid gets up and flips the ball to the coach and pretty much celebrates the hit.  He’s clearly aware that he accomplished his goal of destroying the defender.  This type of stuff shouldn’t be happening with football players this young, especially when they’re at practice in a more controlled environment than a game.

Why Basing Suspensions on How Much Time an Opponent Misses Wouldn’t Work

With all the talk about head shots that’s been circling the NFL over the past few weeks, there have been a number of theories about what the punishment should be for a player who’s guilty of such behavior.  Last week, the league slapped hefty fines on several players after a number of illegal hits lead to various injuries to “defenseless” receivers.  James Harrison even claims he was so frustrated with the decision that he contemplated retirement.

On ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, Adam Schefter reported that the NFL is going to consider a policy for illegal hits that would include the culprit missing as much time as the victim.  That language sounds a bit harsh, but it’s the easiest way to put it.  If a player hits an opponent illegally and the opponent has to miss two games, the player who hit him would be suspended two games and so on.

Here’s why there is no way that policy would work.  If you want to say I’m reading into it too much, that’s you’re prerogative.  Just keep in mind how hard NFL coaches work to gain a competitive edge in any way possible.  Consider this hypothetical situation:  The Patriots and Jets are facing one another.  Both are in close competition for the AFC East divison lead.  A receiver that really isn’t crucial to the Patriots’ success — we’ll say Julian Edelman — catches a pass over the middle and gets popped by Darrelle Revis.  Revis gets flagged for an illegal hit and, as a result, suspended by the league.

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Hefty Fines, Possible Suspensions Should Help NFL Cut Down on Head Shots

The fines that the NFL normally hands out for head shots and unnecessary roughness penalties are usually a joke.  Before Sunday, it wasn’t uncommon for a player to be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for an illegal or dangerous hit during a game.  Take into account the fact that most of these guys make millions, and you get a vision of a player laughing sarcastically while writing a check.  That’s assuming the team even makes the player pay it.

While it may come as a shock to some, the NFL got serious about punishing players for head shots on Monday.  Pittsburgh’s James Harrison was fined $75,000 for his hit on the Browns’ Mohamed Massaquoi, Atlanta’s Dunta Robinson was fined $50,000 for his hit on DeSean Jackson, and New England’s Brandon Meriweather was fined $50,000 for a brutal helmet-to-helmet shot on Baltimore’s Todd Heap.

Heap was able to return to the game after Meriweather cracked him, but Massaquoi was forced to leave with a concussion as were both Robinson and Jackson after their collision.  But how much of a hole will the fines burn in the players’ pockets?  For Meriweather and Harrison, a pretty significant one.

Robinson has a base salary of $5 million, so the $50,000 fine he was given represents only a small portion of his salary.  However, the fines to Meriweather and Harrison make up more than a full game check.  Granted, Harrison has a huge extension waiting to kick in, but the sum of the fines is a step in the right direction for the league.

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