Whatever Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett did to safety Kerry Rhodes, it was enough to result in a very significant sanction from the organization.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the team has fined Dockett $200,000 for conduct detrimental to the team.
Though that’s still more than $60,000 less than a single game check for Dockett, it’s an incredibly significant punishment.
Breer and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (should we now call them Rapopobreer?) also report that the NFLPA already has filed a grievance challenging the punishment. Which means that the thing Dockett allegedly (or actually) did to merit the fine eventually will become known.
So far, the Cards have kept the specific misconduct under wraps. We’ve reported that Dockett spit/spat/whatever in Rhodes’ face. Rhodes has denied that Dockett supplied any saliva, but the magnitude of the fine suggests that something heinous (or, as the prosecutor in My Cousin Vinny would say, high-a-nus) went down after Dockett objected to the plan to let the Jets score late in Sunday’s game in the hopes of giving the Cardinals a chance at tying the game. (In Dockett’s defense, there was no way in hell that Ryan Lindley was going to lead the Cards on a touchdown drive.)
Dockett’s Twitter page indicates that he strongly disagrees with the fine, even though he previously has apologized to Rhodes. Based on the messages from others that Dockett has opted to “retweet,” it can be inferred that he is confirming indirectly that Dockett was accused of spitting at Rhodes, along with the amount of the fine.
Regardless of how this all plays out, it’s possible that Dockett’s relationship with the Cardinals has been permanently fractured. He remains under contract to the team through 2014.