Ravens safety Ed Reed won his appeal of a one-game suspension handed down by the NFL for a pattern of illegal hits and will be fined $50,000 instead of missing a game and a game check for a lot more than $50,000.
Reed wasn’t thrilled about the development, however. He said Tuesday night that the fine is too harsh for the hit on Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and said it was a shame that things got to the point of a possible suspension since he thinks he plays the game the right way. Reed said that there’s still much that needs to be done if the league is serious about player safety while also cautioning that you’re never going to be able to get away from the fact that football is a violent game.
“At the same time, we grew up watching the game be played a certain way and playing it a certain way. It is tackle football. It is a contact sport and a brutal one, a violent one at that, the No. 1 violent sport, sad to say,” Reed said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I know concussions has been a big thing. I’ve had concussions before and I know guys are going to have concussions. If you want to stop it, stop the game. Like people say, it’s starting to be a flag football thing.”
While Reed might have trouble with the way things go down, the process worked generally worked well for the players. Reed and the NFLPA felt that the suspension was too harsh a penalty for a hit that wasn’t one of the more extreme we’ve seen so far this season and Ted Cottrell agreed while handing down his decision. It might not do much to make the game safer or make it clearer just what defensive players are supposed to do in some situations, but at least it shows that the appeal process won’t be the sham that many players and observers believed it would be when announced.