Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison has said for years now that the only way to change the behavior of defensive players is to suspend them for illegal hits.
The NFL did just that on Monday to Ravens safety Ed Reed.
The punishment comes in response to Reed’s third penalty for violating the rules protecting defenseless players in the past three seasons. It suggests that, if the league intends to be consistent, any player with three violations in a three-year window will receive a one-game suspension. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says that the suspension does not indicate the presence of a formula, and that every case will be handled based on its own facts and circumstances.
Reed has three business days to appeal the decision to Art Shell or Ted Cottrell. The league says that, if the appeal is filed, a decision will be reached before Sunday’s game between the Ravens and the Chargers.
The suspension, which Reed intends to appeal, will cost him $423,529.41.
We’ll have more on this at 5:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network’s Pro Football Talk, which will feature the aforementioned Rodney Harrison.