It did not take long for the first finable illegal hit to happen and ironically it came against the Pittsburgh Steelers when Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie launched himself into quarterback Byron Leftwich in last week\’s preseason opener for the two teams.
The NFL responded on Friday by fining Rodgers-Cromartie $21,000.
Rodgers-Cromartie told Eagles reporters following Friday practice, “Twenty-one thousand? I ain\’t even got that.”
Rodgers-Cromartie was flagged for roughing the passer when he launched himself and struck Leftwich in the head and neck area during the first half of the Aug. 9 game. There was no question that it was late, and it was obvious that Rodgers-Cromartie left his feet, which the league has said that it frowns on with these kinds of hits as it continues its focus on player safety.
Rodgers-Cromartie got off cheap in my opinion, as I figured it would be at least double that because of how egregious the act was. Many thought the fine would end up being six-figures and when the Eagles cornerback was asked about that Friday, he was taken back by the suggestion that it should be that much.
“They couldn\’t have thought it\’d have been that. It\’s not even a vicious hit. I mean, how could you think that? I mean, shoot, he got up right from it. I mean, I\’ll say I left my feet. I can understand that. I can understand a fine coming.”
So basically Rodgers-Cromartie thinks that the amount of the fine should be determined by how quick a player gets up from an illegal hit.
I guarantee you that if Ryan Clark or James Harrison had made that same exact hit, the fine would have been double that of Rodgers-Cromartie. That is something we have come to expect.
The big thing is that at least Leftwich was able to bounce back up and was not seriously injured or concussed.