Titans safety Michael Griffin will be back in the lineup for the Titans this week after serving a one-game suspension in Week 13 for accumulating several hits against defenseless receivers.
Griffin sounded the familiar lament of present day defenders by saying he felt defensive players were “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” while trying to hit receivers in legal areas while those receivers are moving in ways that make that difficult. As a result, Griffin said he won’t be changing the way he plays because he feels like it’s a choice between being fined by the league or being dropped by your team if you don’t make the hits.
“At the end of the day, the question is this: either the league is going to take money out of my pocket or the team is going to release you if you can’t get the job done,” Griffin said, via ESPN.com. “They’re going to find somebody else to come in here that can get the job done. You’re losing money regardless, however you want to look at it. You tell me. However I need to get the job done, I’m going to get the job done. You can’t think about it. The league ain’t going to give me money. They’re not going to pay me to do the job correctly. I’ve just got to play.”
Griffin lost more than $200,000 because of last week’s suspension, which provides financial impetus to avoid drawing flags for hits on defenseless receivers. As Griffin makes clear, though, the fear of losing that money every week will not be enough to keep some players from altering their style. If they feel a change will impact their employment, they’ll risk losing one week’s pay before jeopardizing their spot on the roster.