We noted yesterday that NFL Vice President of Operations Merton Hanks fined Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh $31,500 for a hit that wasn’t flagged — and that Hanks admitted was “not an egregious play” — because Hanks wanted to get Suh’s attention. The flip side of that is the way Hanks responded to a personal foul called on 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin last week.
After Boldin’s teammate, Kendall Hunter, was the victim of a late hit by Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, Boldin ran over and confronted Mathieu, giving him a little head butt. That drew a flag on the field, but Hanks said on NFL Network that he decided Boldin did not deserve any league discipline.
“There is the overt, obvious loss of control and then there is the emotional, ‘let me come defend my player.’ When you really look at the film, it was much to do about nothing when it came to Anquan. Every foul is not a fine and it’s my job to decide where that line is,” Hanks said.
If that sounds subjective, it is. But someone has to decide what constitutes a fine and what doesn’t, and in the NFL that “someone” is Hanks. And Hanks didn’t have a problem with Boldin intervening on behalf of his teammate, even if the officials on the field thought Boldin crossed the line.