If the NFL is ever going to fine a player for flopping on the ground and feigning an injury, it should start with Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson.
Simpson committed an absolutely ridiculous flop in Sunday’s game against the Browns, acting like he had just been shot by a bazooka when Browns linebacker Scott Fujita bumped into him after a play.
The whole thing actually got started by Simpson, who grabbed Fujita by the foot and dragged him out of a pile after a play. If anything, Simpson should have been flagged for that, and Fujita was justifiably annoyed and got in Simpson’s face. When Fujita brushed into Simpson, Simpson went flying backward and onto the ground, acting like Fujita had just brutalized him. The video is here.
European soccer players thought it was an absurd flop. Professional wrestlers thought Simpson went overboard. Cincinnati schools are wondering if Simpson could visit their gym classes to teach tumbling.
Unfortunately, the nearest official had a bad view of what happened and fell for Simpson’s ploy, throwing a flag on Fujita. So Simpson got rewarded for an absurd acting job.
It’s too late to do anything about the flag, but it’s not too late for the NFL to make clear that it won’t tolerate that kind of nonsense. We don’t need the NFL to turn into a league where players are faking like they were hurt and begging for penalties. Simpson should get fined, and the rest of the NFL should be put on notice that flopping won’t be tolerated.