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Meriweather's penalty was more costly than a one-game suspension

Though Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather escaped a suspension after launching himself helmet-first into the head of Ravens tight end Todd Heap, the hit to Meriweather’s wallet ended up being even more costly than a one-game suspension would have been.

As MDS has pointed out, Meriweather has been fined $50,000.  But based on a base salary of $550,000, a one-game suspension without pay would have cost Meriweather $32,352.

Some think that Meriweather avoided a suspension in part because Pats coach Bill Belichick immediately removed him from the game after he delivered the hit.

For Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson, the $50,000 fine represents only a small chunk of his weekly salary of $294,000, in light of his base salary of $5 million.  For Steelers linebacker James Harrison, the $75,000 fine equates to nearly two game checks; his base salary is $755,000.

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72 Responses to “Meriweather's penalty was more costly than a one-game suspension”
  1. william sizemore says: Oct 19, 2010 5:00 PM

    Face it! this fine is chicken scratch, no one suspended for the hits means nothing, if they are serious, and they aren’t, they need to set an example on these guys trying to kill another player,only then perhaps they will get off there ass and do the right thing, otherwise chicken shit. Bill

  2. william sizemore says: Oct 19, 2010 5:00 PM

    Face it! this fine is chicken scratch, no one suspended for the hits means nothing, if they are serious, and they aren’t, they need to set an example on these guys trying to kill another player,only then perhaps they will get off there ass and do the right thing, otherwise chicken shit. Bill

  3. SteelScorpio says: Oct 19, 2010 5:01 PM

    James Harrison’s Base salary is $755,000??? Really?
    Someone better tell the Steelers Front office that… his 2010 salary cap hit is at $6,355,000
    he signed a 51 Million dollar contract in 2009

  4. SteelScorpio says: Oct 19, 2010 5:01 PM

    James Harrison’s Base salary is $755,000??? Really?
    Someone better tell the Steelers Front office that… his 2010 salary cap hit is at $6,355,000
    he signed a 51 Million dollar contract in 2009

  5. AFC says: Oct 19, 2010 5:01 PM

    well when you fine a coach $40,000 to $50,000 for giving the finger, i guess you have no choice but to make the fine this size for nearly taking a player’s head off

  6. AFC says: Oct 19, 2010 5:01 PM

    well when you fine a coach $40,000 to $50,000 for giving the finger, i guess you have no choice but to make the fine this size for nearly taking a player’s head off

  7. aschwartz says: Oct 19, 2010 5:02 PM

    This is why fines should be proportional. This allows some players to get away with a lot more than others.

  8. aschwartz says: Oct 19, 2010 5:02 PM

    This is why fines should be proportional. This allows some players to get away with a lot more than others.

  9. 2000TJ says: Oct 19, 2010 5:07 PM

    For those of you saying that these fines are nothing to players, can you right today write a check for 10% of your annual income and say it is nothing?? Not me.
    Not every NFL player makes Brady or Manning money, in fact, very few do.

  10. 2000TJ says: Oct 19, 2010 5:07 PM

    For those of you saying that these fines are nothing to players, can you right today write a check for 10% of your annual income and say it is nothing?? Not me.
    Not every NFL player makes Brady or Manning money, in fact, very few do.

  11. BrianMD says: Oct 19, 2010 5:11 PM

    Add in the signing bonuses and get the real math.
    They are hardly suffering.

  12. BrianMD says: Oct 19, 2010 5:11 PM

    Add in the signing bonuses and get the real math.
    They are hardly suffering.

  13. Nacho says: Oct 19, 2010 5:11 PM

    Goodell didn’t suspend Belicheat for 10 years of spying and wiring up his players shoulder pads with microphones.
    Why would he suspend Meriweather? Goodell likes Kraft’s kick backs too much.

  14. Nacho says: Oct 19, 2010 5:11 PM

    Goodell didn’t suspend Belicheat for 10 years of spying and wiring up his players shoulder pads with microphones.
    Why would he suspend Meriweather? Goodell likes Kraft’s kick backs too much.

  15. AttackRaven says: Oct 19, 2010 5:13 PM

    The fine to Harrison is most gratifying since he made the stupid comment that his intention is to always “hurt” somebody. Well now offensive linemen can go after this turd’s knees and knock him out for the season in every game. Let the fun begin. His brain is definitely no bigger than a pea.

  16. AttackRaven says: Oct 19, 2010 5:13 PM

    The fine to Harrison is most gratifying since he made the stupid comment that his intention is to always “hurt” somebody. Well now offensive linemen can go after this turd’s knees and knock him out for the season in every game. Let the fun begin. His brain is definitely no bigger than a pea.

  17. iampats says: Oct 19, 2010 5:14 PM

    Maybe he will remember that he plays in the NFL for the New England Patriots and he is not at the U anymore.

  18. iampats says: Oct 19, 2010 5:14 PM

    Maybe he will remember that he plays in the NFL for the New England Patriots and he is not at the U anymore.

  19. LebronJeremy says: Oct 19, 2010 5:17 PM

    Is T.J Ward goin to get fined for the helmet to helmet on Rashard Mendenhall?
    Why didn’t he get fined?
    Why didn’t he get fined?
    Why didn’t he get fined?
    Oh I know: Goodell doesn’t honestly care about player safety.

  20. LebronJeremy says: Oct 19, 2010 5:17 PM

    Is T.J Ward goin to get fined for the helmet to helmet on Rashard Mendenhall?
    Why didn’t he get fined?
    Why didn’t he get fined?
    Why didn’t he get fined?
    Oh I know: Goodell doesn’t honestly care about player safety.

  21. chipwade says: Oct 19, 2010 5:28 PM

    Other than Dunta, I think if the NFL hasn’t fined you yet that you might not want to go popping off about not caring. And these players should be fined a percentage, no a base number.

  22. chipwade says: Oct 19, 2010 5:28 PM

    Other than Dunta, I think if the NFL hasn’t fined you yet that you might not want to go popping off about not caring. And these players should be fined a percentage, no a base number.

  23. tooz56 says: Oct 19, 2010 5:31 PM

    I agree, Robinson’s hit was clean. Jackson still had the ball in his hands, and was hit in the shoulder, not the head.

  24. tooz56 says: Oct 19, 2010 5:31 PM

    I agree, Robinson’s hit was clean. Jackson still had the ball in his hands, and was hit in the shoulder, not the head.

  25. Jon says: Oct 19, 2010 5:32 PM

    @SteelScorpio,
    Figuring out a player’s value vs the cap is nowhere NEAR that simple.

  26. Jon says: Oct 19, 2010 5:32 PM

    @SteelScorpio,
    Figuring out a player’s value vs the cap is nowhere NEAR that simple.

  27. Sneki says: Oct 19, 2010 5:34 PM

    Bigblue…The money goes to charity, not the “NFL Coffers”.
    Player safety needs to be first and foremost…these guys are too big and too fast today. Wait till we start seeing the long term effects on these guys in 5, 10 years.

  28. Sneki says: Oct 19, 2010 5:34 PM

    Bigblue…The money goes to charity, not the “NFL Coffers”.
    Player safety needs to be first and foremost…these guys are too big and too fast today. Wait till we start seeing the long term effects on these guys in 5, 10 years.

  29. jrhsd says: Oct 19, 2010 5:39 PM

    # SteelScorpio says: October 19, 2010 5:01 PM
    James Harrison’s Base salary is $755,000??? Really?
    Someone better tell the Steelers Front office that… his 2010 salary cap hit is at $6,355,000
    he signed a 51 Million dollar contract in 2009
    ———
    you really have no idea how the NFL works do you Scorpio? he’s talking paragraph 5 which is all that matters for suspensions.

  30. jrhsd says: Oct 19, 2010 5:39 PM

    # SteelScorpio says: October 19, 2010 5:01 PM
    James Harrison’s Base salary is $755,000??? Really?
    Someone better tell the Steelers Front office that… his 2010 salary cap hit is at $6,355,000
    he signed a 51 Million dollar contract in 2009
    ———
    you really have no idea how the NFL works do you Scorpio? he’s talking paragraph 5 which is all that matters for suspensions.

  31. Beam me up Scotty says: Oct 19, 2010 5:40 PM

    The other thing they aren’t telling, is that these fines are tax deductible. The NFL donates these fines to charity which in turn is deductible for the player. So again, big deal!! No suspension, no enforcement.

  32. Beam me up Scotty says: Oct 19, 2010 5:40 PM

    The other thing they aren’t telling, is that these fines are tax deductible. The NFL donates these fines to charity which in turn is deductible for the player. So again, big deal!! No suspension, no enforcement.

  33. RAMBradford says: Oct 19, 2010 5:46 PM

    What about the LB that took Bradford’s helmet off in the SD game? I realize Bradford wasn’t defenseless but the player did missile his helmet right into Bradford’s and even took it off. If Bradford wouldn’t have gotten right back up this play would be talked about much much more than all the others.

  34. RAMBradford says: Oct 19, 2010 5:46 PM

    What about the LB that took Bradford’s helmet off in the SD game? I realize Bradford wasn’t defenseless but the player did missile his helmet right into Bradford’s and even took it off. If Bradford wouldn’t have gotten right back up this play would be talked about much much more than all the others.

  35. Mister Shister says: Oct 19, 2010 5:47 PM

    LoFlo isn’t paying attention. Harrison told him that missing games would get the players to change.
    Games, not game checks.
    Sigh. LoFlo really doesn’t get it, does he?

  36. Mister Shister says: Oct 19, 2010 5:47 PM

    LoFlo isn’t paying attention. Harrison told him that missing games would get the players to change.
    Games, not game checks.
    Sigh. LoFlo really doesn’t get it, does he?

  37. CliveRush says: Oct 19, 2010 6:13 PM

    Nacho will be attending the convention of ufo first contacts in the Nevada desert. Reporting to the commander of the Jupiter Space Force patrol that has been in constant communication with him. Will he bring the Patriots spy equipment with him to show these space travelers the latest and best?Microphones cameras, the works will be on display. Roger Godell is very interested in any new developments he has in this dead issue.

  38. CliveRush says: Oct 19, 2010 6:13 PM

    Nacho will be attending the convention of ufo first contacts in the Nevada desert. Reporting to the commander of the Jupiter Space Force patrol that has been in constant communication with him. Will he bring the Patriots spy equipment with him to show these space travelers the latest and best?Microphones cameras, the works will be on display. Roger Godell is very interested in any new developments he has in this dead issue.

  39. Steelers-Shaun says: Oct 19, 2010 6:15 PM

    Just like Harrison gets held every play of every game and never gets a call is BS, so is this.

  40. Steelers-Shaun says: Oct 19, 2010 6:15 PM

    Just like Harrison gets held every play of every game and never gets a call is BS, so is this.

  41. SteelScorpio says: Oct 19, 2010 6:15 PM

    Ok…I looked it up.. I was incorrect.
    In 2010 Harrison’s base salary is $755,000. But he also has a reporting bonus of $2.8 million.
    In 2011, Harrison’s salary jumps to $3.66 million and includes $900,000 roster bonus.
    In years four, five and six of his contract Harrison’s salary balloons to $5.315 million, $6.32 million and $7.325 million, respectively.

  42. SteelScorpio says: Oct 19, 2010 6:15 PM

    Ok…I looked it up.. I was incorrect.
    In 2010 Harrison’s base salary is $755,000. But he also has a reporting bonus of $2.8 million.
    In 2011, Harrison’s salary jumps to $3.66 million and includes $900,000 roster bonus.
    In years four, five and six of his contract Harrison’s salary balloons to $5.315 million, $6.32 million and $7.325 million, respectively.

  43. Belichick for President says: Oct 19, 2010 6:21 PM

    Nacho says:
    October 19, 2010 5:11 PM
    Goodell didn’t suspend Belicheat for 10 years of spying and wiring up his players shoulder pads with microphones.
    Why would he suspend Meriweather? Goodell likes Kraft’s kick backs too much.
    ————————————-
    LOL. Please. The only wiring of shoulder pads was in Miami, which they admitted to with a shrug of the shoulders and a “Hey, that’s football”. And Meriweather gets fines $50,000, but Goodell’s former employer gets fines $5,000 in Week 2 when Eric Smith does an even worse hit on Wes Welker.
    The level of hypocracy on this message board is pretty damn entertaining.

  44. Belichick for President says: Oct 19, 2010 6:21 PM

    Nacho says:
    October 19, 2010 5:11 PM
    Goodell didn’t suspend Belicheat for 10 years of spying and wiring up his players shoulder pads with microphones.
    Why would he suspend Meriweather? Goodell likes Kraft’s kick backs too much.
    ————————————-
    LOL. Please. The only wiring of shoulder pads was in Miami, which they admitted to with a shrug of the shoulders and a “Hey, that’s football”. And Meriweather gets fines $50,000, but Goodell’s former employer gets fines $5,000 in Week 2 when Eric Smith does an even worse hit on Wes Welker.
    The level of hypocracy on this message board is pretty damn entertaining.

  45. CollegeToPros says: Oct 19, 2010 6:28 PM

    Beam me up scotty,
    while donations to chairty are deductible, fines and penalties are not. It does not matter what the NFL does with it. It only matters how it effects the player.
    to Meriweather, Harrison, and Robinson, it is a fine. not a donation.

  46. CollegeToPros says: Oct 19, 2010 6:28 PM

    Beam me up scotty,
    while donations to chairty are deductible, fines and penalties are not. It does not matter what the NFL does with it. It only matters how it effects the player.
    to Meriweather, Harrison, and Robinson, it is a fine. not a donation.

  47. SomeFans says: Oct 19, 2010 6:44 PM

    well when you fine a coach $40,000 to $50,000 for giving the finger”>..
    But only 1 coach, correct that… FEW coaches are that stupid. One is in nj.

  48. SomeFans says: Oct 19, 2010 6:44 PM

    well when you fine a coach $40,000 to $50,000 for giving the finger”>..
    But only 1 coach, correct that… FEW coaches are that stupid. One is in nj.

  49. buckup says: Oct 19, 2010 6:48 PM

    So the NFL didn’t hear Rodney Harrison??? His point was it’s not about money and which costs the player more, it’s about NOT BEING ABLE TO PLAY and letting down the team etc. He was doing just this “stuff” when he played and the NFL needs to listen to him. They don’t and God forbid someone gets killed, I’d love to be that lawyer. Actually, no I’d never want to be a lawyer ;)

  50. buckup says: Oct 19, 2010 6:48 PM

    So the NFL didn’t hear Rodney Harrison??? His point was it’s not about money and which costs the player more, it’s about NOT BEING ABLE TO PLAY and letting down the team etc. He was doing just this “stuff” when he played and the NFL needs to listen to him. They don’t and God forbid someone gets killed, I’d love to be that lawyer. Actually, no I’d never want to be a lawyer ;)

  51. pghguyy33 says: Oct 19, 2010 6:49 PM

    the only reason these guys got anything is because alot of these people cry baut the hits.. if noone cried he wouldnt have done a thing..

  52. pghguyy33 says: Oct 19, 2010 6:49 PM

    the only reason these guys got anything is because alot of these people cry baut the hits.. if noone cried he wouldnt have done a thing..

  53. Neoplatonist Bolthead says: Oct 19, 2010 7:07 PM

    Goodell would never suspend a player going into a Chargers game. That would give the hated Bolts an advantage over the precious Pats, and we can’t have that.

  54. Neoplatonist Bolthead says: Oct 19, 2010 7:07 PM

    Goodell would never suspend a player going into a Chargers game. That would give the hated Bolts an advantage over the precious Pats, and we can’t have that.

  55. VASeahawk says: Oct 19, 2010 7:42 PM

    Merriweather should be suspended for at least half a season. His only goal was to drill Heap when he missile launched himself into Heap’s helmet.

  56. VASeahawk says: Oct 19, 2010 7:42 PM

    Merriweather should be suspended for at least half a season. His only goal was to drill Heap when he missile launched himself into Heap’s helmet.

  57. Dan Mateus says: Oct 19, 2010 8:01 PM

    WGAS ,WGAF…all you overgrown babies need to stop getting so worked up over a silly game.

  58. Dan Mateus says: Oct 19, 2010 8:01 PM

    WGAS ,WGAF…all you overgrown babies need to stop getting so worked up over a silly game.

  59. Buck Stallion says: Oct 19, 2010 8:09 PM

    Merriweather’s hit was as bad as I’ve ever seen. He should be suspended.
    Robinson should get a bonus for that hit! Nothing illegal about it, and it was awesome.
    Also the first one of Harrison’s was just a good hit that the guy ducked into. The second one though…looked more like he tried to do a helmet to helmet hit.

  60. Buck Stallion says: Oct 19, 2010 8:09 PM

    Merriweather’s hit was as bad as I’ve ever seen. He should be suspended.
    Robinson should get a bonus for that hit! Nothing illegal about it, and it was awesome.
    Also the first one of Harrison’s was just a good hit that the guy ducked into. The second one though…looked more like he tried to do a helmet to helmet hit.

  61. Skleech22 says: Oct 19, 2010 8:29 PM

    There is no doubt GOODELL caters to the Patriots,just look at all the evidence he swept under the rug in SPYGATE! Not to mention leniant fines nor suspensions through the years. Matt Light throws punches in a game and no suspension.If you don’t think this is the case you’re just ignorant.

  62. Skleech22 says: Oct 19, 2010 8:29 PM

    There is no doubt GOODELL caters to the Patriots,just look at all the evidence he swept under the rug in SPYGATE! Not to mention leniant fines nor suspensions through the years. Matt Light throws punches in a game and no suspension.If you don’t think this is the case you’re just ignorant.

  63. Art Van Delay's brother says: Oct 19, 2010 8:30 PM

    @SteelScorpio
    Your right, the way the story is written it implies that the severity of the fine on Harrison is much worse.
    PFT please take an extra 15 minutes of research and give the real picture.

  64. Art Van Delay's brother says: Oct 19, 2010 8:30 PM

    @SteelScorpio
    Your right, the way the story is written it implies that the severity of the fine on Harrison is much worse.
    PFT please take an extra 15 minutes of research and give the real picture.

  65. exit322 says: Oct 19, 2010 8:33 PM

    Very likely, these fines are “even better” than tax-deductible.
    It’s very likely that these fines actually lower the Adjusted Gross Income – because the player never actually receives the cash, their income is lower. So not only does it save him taxes on the federal return, it would on the various states he’s gotta file (since not all states give you an itemized deduction).
    I mean, having the $75K would be nicer, but the $775,000 or whatever he’s making, the gross would actually be reduced, not an amount from the net.

  66. exit322 says: Oct 19, 2010 8:33 PM

    Very likely, these fines are “even better” than tax-deductible.
    It’s very likely that these fines actually lower the Adjusted Gross Income – because the player never actually receives the cash, their income is lower. So not only does it save him taxes on the federal return, it would on the various states he’s gotta file (since not all states give you an itemized deduction).
    I mean, having the $75K would be nicer, but the $775,000 or whatever he’s making, the gross would actually be reduced, not an amount from the net.

  67. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Oct 19, 2010 8:34 PM

    If fan confidence is to be maintained, then the punishment handed down by the league must be commensurate with the degree of the infraction. Can anyone argue with a straight face that Dunta Robinson’s shoulder-to-chest collision with DeSean Jackson was as egregious as Brandon Meriweather’s launched helmet-to-helmet blow against Todd Heap, given that both were fined equally?
    Jackson completed the catch mid-air, landed with both feet, and was facing his defender when popped. Robinson’s right shoulder contacted Jackson’s upper chest. The clear intent was to separate the ball from the player. While the ruling on the field was that Jackson was “defenseless,” the hit—though sudden and violent—was nonetheless clean and, importantly, NOT helmet-to-helmet.
    That contrasts sharply with Meriweather’s helmet-to-helmet “spear” delivered from behind on a defenseless Heap AFTER the overthrown pass by Flacco.
    Clearly, Meriweather’s act was more flagrant than Robinson’s. So, why were both fined $50,000? Regrettably, the Patriots may be seen by some here—rightly or wrongly—as being given “preferential treatment.”

  68. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Oct 19, 2010 8:34 PM

    If fan confidence is to be maintained, then the punishment handed down by the league must be commensurate with the degree of the infraction. Can anyone argue with a straight face that Dunta Robinson’s shoulder-to-chest collision with DeSean Jackson was as egregious as Brandon Meriweather’s launched helmet-to-helmet blow against Todd Heap, given that both were fined equally?
    Jackson completed the catch mid-air, landed with both feet, and was facing his defender when popped. Robinson’s right shoulder contacted Jackson’s upper chest. The clear intent was to separate the ball from the player. While the ruling on the field was that Jackson was “defenseless,” the hit—though sudden and violent—was nonetheless clean and, importantly, NOT helmet-to-helmet.
    That contrasts sharply with Meriweather’s helmet-to-helmet “spear” delivered from behind on a defenseless Heap AFTER the overthrown pass by Flacco.
    Clearly, Meriweather’s act was more flagrant than Robinson’s. So, why were both fined $50,000? Regrettably, the Patriots may be seen by some here—rightly or wrongly—as being given “preferential treatment.”

  69. cmr says: Oct 19, 2010 8:50 PM

    The only thing i am confused about is that the NFL wants to change the rules about hitting but still denies injuries to players such as Mike Webster are job related. The NFL sure still tries to sell the hits on TV yet wants players to play to where they are scarred about hitting someone wrong and getting suspended. Just some thoughts.

  70. cmr says: Oct 19, 2010 8:50 PM

    The only thing i am confused about is that the NFL wants to change the rules about hitting but still denies injuries to players such as Mike Webster are job related. The NFL sure still tries to sell the hits on TV yet wants players to play to where they are scarred about hitting someone wrong and getting suspended. Just some thoughts.

  71. joetoronto says: Oct 20, 2010 6:09 AM

    All hating aside, big props to coach Belichick for pulling Meriweather out of the game.

  72. joetoronto says: Oct 20, 2010 6:09 AM

    All hating aside, big props to coach Belichick for pulling Meriweather out of the game.

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