Julius Peppers fined $10,000 for hit on Aaron Rodgers

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Bears defensive end Julius Peppers drew a 15-yard penalty for delivering a brutal shot to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game. Now he’s drawn a fine as well.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Peppers was fined $10,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Rodgers.

Peppers, several Bears players and thousands of fans at Soldier Field expressed their displeasure when the flag was thrown, but it was clearly the right call.

Frankly, Peppers is lucky the fine wasn’t more: He put the crown of his helmet directly into Rodgers’ jaw. After a season in which the NFL made cracking down on shots to the head of defenseless players a top priority, a $10,000 fine for that kind of hit seems fairly light.

77 responses to “Julius Peppers fined $10,000 for hit on Aaron Rodgers

  1. agreed. I think some of the fines are a little ridiculous, but nobody wants to see a super bowl where one of the teams is led by a backup QB.

  2. CHEATERS!. This is ridiculous. It should be $100,000. What a crock. No matter, though, the forces of Good are with us, we are the warriors, we are the believers, and we will prevail in the Super Bowl!

  3. Seems light to me too. $10,000 in exchange for potentially knocking out the franchise? Some (all) teams would look at this as a fair trade.

  4. i guess the commish does’nt want to take too much $$$ away before the lock out!!!!!!!!!!!
    what a joke, he tried to take the guy out on purpose! don’t expect much from worthless goodell anyway!!

  5. Is it possible that fines are just less in the playoffs since game checks are less in the playoffs? If I recall correctly, the game check for a conference championship game is around $35,000 regardless of whether you’re a star or if you even play.

    So Peppers got fined more than a quarter of what he got paid to play in that game. If he had been fined say $50,000 he would have been fined more than he got paid to play in that game.

    Still, a clearly dirty hit and worthy of a fine.

  6. Seriously??? There should have been at least another zero in that fine. I don’t care how tall he is, there’s no excuse for driving your helmet full-bore into the QB’s helmet like that.

    Apparently the NFL’s talk about safety is just that: Talk.

  7. He was taking a cheap shot to the skull of the opposing QB to knock him from the game. Peppers knew full well Rodgers had experienced two concussions already this season, and he used that as part of his cheap shot.
    Peppers should have been ejected, plain and simple.

  8. I’m sorry but the league dropped the ball, big time, on this one. Only fining Peppers 10K for such a blatant, hard hit meant to take out Aaron Rodgers merits a more severe fine than 10K. This is a drop in the bucket for Peppers. The league professes to watch out for hits like these on defenseless players then they wimp out when they can set an example. They need to get off their asses and stop being so wishy washy. They need to show dirty player like Peppers that they won’t take this crap anymore.

  9. It was a bad call,with every human beings head attached atop their shoulders sometimes you can’t keep it out of the way in brings a opposing player down.If he would have intentionally led with the helmet on purpose with the INTENT of injuring the opposing players it should be called.Another penalty that the league needs to just eliminate is the horse collar penalty.By definition that call is really when a defender gets his hands inside the offensive players shoulder pads and brings him down from behind.Now anytime a player is taken down on a jersey tackle from behind is it called a horse collar penalty and even when that call benefits the team I am rooting for I hate it because it is NOT a penalty.Its long over due for Roger Goodell to step down from his job as I watch the NFL turn into a flag football league.I pay way to much money for my Eagles season tickets to watch the game I love turn into a glorified flag football league .If anybody agrees with me give the thumbs up please…i want to see who else is sick of this nonsense !

  10. I think it should have been more, that does seem quite low, especially for a guy that has taken more cheap shots @ Rodgers then that one. Youtube it if you’d like, butI think Rodgers might be in Peppers head.

  11. xxwhodatxx says:
    Jan 27, 2011 11:19 AM
    Who didn’t see that coming?


    apparently the chicago faithful…the way they were cryin about the flag after the hit would have you believe he didn’t even touch him.

  12. He should have lost his gamecheck for that hit – it was the second time this season he’s taken a run at Rodgers head.

  13. shut up and play football. Cry babies whining about how he didn’t get fined enough. If you can’t take the heat then get off the field. He shouldn’t have been fined at all.

  14. That’s about the same cost of a few shots and beers in Chicago these days.

    Peppers probably spends that on lunch.

  15. I suspect that if Peppers had delivered that helmet-to-helmet hit on Rodgers earlier in the season when there was heightened awareness of such illegal hits, then the fine imposed by the league would have been north of $10,000. Bears players and fans cannot be heard to complain. The flag thrown by the officiating crew was entirely justified.

  16. All of you sound like a bunch of crybabies I don’t see any outrage for the helmet to helmet hit Farrior put on Greene in the steelers game. So stop picking which hits to cry about and just start lobbying for a change to flag football,it pretty much sounds like that’s what you people want.

  17. 10,000 is a joke for this hit. Peppers launched himself into the ear hole of Rodgers helmet. He should have been ejected and fined at least 50,000

  18. @Joyner

    You can grab a jersey and pull straight down, it is not a horse collar, and a ton of players since reenforcing the helmet to helmet hit, managed not to hit QBs and WRs helmet to helmet. You are suppose to see what you hit, Peppers led with the crown, and EVEN IF he would have hit Rodgers clean, the other player on that rush still would have been flagged, because he Rodgers in the head with his hand, so that one would have been called anyway. I think the frustration of having a 3rd string QB in there started to frustrate Peppers and he tried to level the playing field a little more.

  19. The NFL needs to be consistant. If they’re going to fine players for head to head hits, then the fine should be the same across the board. This is the hipocracy of the NFL….. If safety is the driving force behind all these fines, then every helmet to helmet hit should be viewed the same, whether a player is defenseless or not.

  20. 10K? That’s IT? You gotta be kidding me. If I’m Harrison, I am suing the NFL to get my money back. What did he get fined this year, 75K? Peppers leads with his head, crowns one of the top 5 premier QBs in the NFL, in front of a national audience in a playoff game and he gets 10K? 1oK??? Give me a break.

  21. Quit Crying. Is Aron Rogers on here crying? It’s football. QBs are too protected as it is. Being QB it sucks when you get hit, however if you don’t like it do something else. I want to see some of the rules relaxed. I hate watching a QB dance down sideline get 5 to 10 extra yards because Defense is afraid of a hit out of bounds call. However they can ride the running back out of bounds with no flags. QB runs he isa running back. QB has ball in his hands ear hole him. Once a player is in the air he can’t stop from making a hit. I watched the play and should have been no flag and no fine. I’m not a peppers fans nor bears. Some of you should be a shamed to call yourselves football fans. True fans want to see a football game not two hand touch.

  22. I’m so tired of what the NFL has become. I understand the need to protect the players, but some (some) of this is their own doing. How may players are wearing loose fitting helmets instead of snug one because they’re more comfortable. A loose fitting helmet doesn’t protect your head from an impact.

    Also, you’re going to ask a 6’6″ man running at full speed, with people pushing and grabbing him to keep his head from hitting the QB in the head all the while the QB is moving and trying to avoid the hit. Sometimes they duck, what then? It’s just not realistic and it’s going to happen. It’s to the point where the QB has a strike zone like baseball (above the knees to shoulders is OK, everything else is illegal). How about let the players handle this. You knock our QB out, yours is going on out a stretcher. Let’s make this two hand touch and call it what it is.

  23. Wow so it only costs $10k to knock out an opposing quarterback in a championship game? Players now know how to cheat to help their chances in important games.

    Thumbs down.

  24. I’m not a Packers fan or a Bears hater so I consider myself to be objective here…

    Peppers was clearly trying to knock Rodgers out of the game. In my opinion he should have been flagged, ejected, and fined more than $10k. I’ve seen ejections for a lot less (see 49ers Justin Smith vs Chargers) and, in my opinion, it’s a much better negative incentive than a fine.

  25. Although I do not believe it wasn’t a blatant cheap shot, I firmly believe the fine was too low. It was a legit helmet to helmet hit.

    The NFL is a lot of talk and reactionary to issues. Once the issue dies down a little in the media they go back to status quo.

    10k and 15 yds is absolutely nothing to a guy like Peppers. Especially if the teams starting QB goes to the bench.

  26. 15 yards and $10,000 to deliver a kill shot on a QB in a championship game?

    Congratulations, NFL, your plan to punish such shots just back-fired. Players will take that any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

  27. Rodgers better win his next game if he ever wants to be eligible to receive the Brady treatment by the league. Anyone doubt that the fine wouldn’t be a tad bit higher if the hit had been on Brady or Manning? Course Brady would’ve gotten up screaming at the Ref anyway. Its stuff like this that makes the NFL & Commandant Goodell’s credibility sink to zero. IF they really were making head shots a priority, & IF they were really sincere about protecting ALL their players (instead of only the MARQUEE ones)? Then the fine would be more reflective of the ones that were handed down for shots on Brady etc. As it stands it’s just more evidence of league bias, & why it’s so maddening to us fans.

  28. Stop. Just stop. This is pathetic. First off, I don’t think that was a penalty at all. IT’S THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. Peppers lead with his shoulder and his helmet made original contact on AR’s shoulder, which via momentum slid up and knicked his helmet. BFD.

    Secondly, if you call that, then on the very next series, Cutler got hit in the head by a Packer defender and it wasn’t called. Yes, it was slight. Yes, it was a hand. But if you’re going to have rules (as hanus as some are), then you can’t draw a distinction between severity. A rule is a rule. You have to call ALL the time or NOT AT ALL.

    Plenty of horrendous calls (the grounding call, the interception at the end of the half, etc) that went against the Bears in that game.

    BTW, not a Bear fan so no need to bash them on my account..

  29. @windycitybears & peopletrains –
    So what your saying is that @ 6′ 7″ Peppers lacks the awareness to know what he’s about to hit… good excuse if he was a high school player.

    The guy is a professional – There are a Billion people out there with near the same physical traits guys like Peppers have… its vision, awareness and drive that make him different.

    You can thumbs down on the exaggerations in this, but give me a break if you think Peppers didn’t know what he was doing.

  30. xxwhodatxx says:
    Jan 27, 2011 11:43 AM
    All of you sound like a bunch of crybabies I don’t see any outrage for the helmet to helmet hit Farrior put on Greene in the steelers game. So stop picking which hits to cry about and just start lobbying for a change to flag football,it pretty much sounds like that’s what you people want.

    that’s because greene is a a running back. ball carriers are allowed to lead with their heads without penalty as well. QB’s are “defenseless,” or at least the NFL defines them as such in these situations.

  31. I hate to think like this, but if it was Manning or Brady I think the fine would probably be doubled, for whatever reason I don’t think Rodgers gets the love they do, (i.e. First concussion vs. Redskins) It’s a shame, because they talk about protecting the QB, it shouldn’t matter if they are all world or Todd Collins it should be the same, but apparently the NFL doesn’t work that way.

  32. Ummmmm, illegal? Yes, he was fined and flagged.

    Intentional? No, only an idiot who has never watched football would think that.

    You want to see intentional? Youtube “Charles Martin”. Dirtiest play ever, and of course, no surprise it was a Packer.

    Karma will injure one of your players via a dirty hit, and it’ll come soon…

  33. I’ll say to Packer fans what they said to me after Favre was cheap-shotted by the Saints in last year’s NFCCG: “If your O-Line blocked better, it wouldn’t have happened.”

  34. rpiotr01 said: Jan 27, 2011 12:25 PM

    15 yards and $10,000 to deliver a kill shot on a QB in a championship game?

    Congratulations, NFL, your plan to punish such shots just back-fired. Players will take that any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.


    Hell, their teams will be paying their fines for them pretty soon.

  35. For all you guys who think these kind of hits are unavoidable, go look at some old videos of Nitschke or Butkus and see how real football players tackle. They might go forearms occasionally, but nobody led with their head. This is a new thing, and the league needs to stop it.

    10k for an intentional headshot ain’t gonna cut it.

  36. You want to see intentional? Youtube “Charles Martin”. Dirtiest play ever, and of course, no surprise it was a Packer.


    I think that honor is taken by either Warren Sapp via that nasty hit he laid on Chad Cliffton


    Albert Haynesworth when he stepped on Andre Gardes (or w\e) head.

  37. Peppers wasn’t trying to injure Rodgers and it wasn’t a cheap shot. He lead with his shoulder and turned his head before hitting him. If you watch the replay (that I tried to link to but it was removed, probably cause it wasn’t from NBC), you see that as Rodgers throws, his right arm goes up and his left shoulder goes down.

    So it wound up a helmet to helmet hit and deserved the flag. But it didn’t look to be a kill shot and he didn’t launch. By the way, launching means leaving your feet before you hit someone. Falling on top of them isn’t a launch.

    So was Peppers trying to put a hard hit on him? Yes, nothing wrong with that.

    I think the Packer’s fans think it is still the 80s. If you want to see a cheap shot, watch when Martin takes out McMahon long after the play is over and slams his injured shoulder to the ground. Maybe that is why the Bears didn’t want to tell anyone that Cutler was injured?

  38. “Like the rest of us……….I see that Troy Aikman’s wife has also gotten tired of his incoherent babbling.”

    I think he’s leaving his wife for Aaron Rodgers. It is downright uncomfortable listening to Troy go on and on and on and on about how great Rodgers does EVERYTHING.

  39. I railed against the ridiculous fines for shots to the head earlier in the season, calling it possibly the end of football. Then the league goes and does this, give a marginal fine for so obvious an offense. Consistency? There’s none to be found, which leads one to believe that the overlords are deciding things a little too much.

  40. It’s good to see that things are back to normal in the NFL, a few months of harder fines I am sure will stop the helmet hits, time to go back to fining a guy $10,000 who just signed a 90+ million dollar contract. I am sure he will think twice the next time he has the chance. Quick math $10,000 fine against a 90 million dollar contact is 0.01 % of the value. This would like fining some who makes $50,000 a year $50. My speeding ticket was higher!

  41. You want to see intentional? Youtube “Charles Martin”. Dirtiest play ever, and of course, no surprise it was a Packer.


    I think that honor is taken by either Warren Sapp via that nasty hit he laid on Chad Cliffton


    Albert Haynesworth when he stepped on Andre Gardes (or w\e) head.


    In order of nasty, I’d rank them as follows:

    1. Haynesworth
    2. Martin (while intentional, Haynesworth is just a pos, and he stomped on his head)
    3. Sapp, only because it was during a play. Cheap, yes, but not as bad as the others, although obviously Clifton had the worst result of all the “victims”.

  42. If anyone who truely isn’t a bias packers fan thinks that shot was meant to be a kill shot please show some proof.

    I’m sure if peppers meant to put the kill shot in Rogers wouldn’t have got up. Rogers busted his lip because he tried to duck down at the end of the hit. If you played football you’ll understand that at the end of a hit a helmet clearly on the outside shoulder (which is exactly where peppers placed his) will pop a lip if the other player ducks or reacts as Rogers did from the other arm coming in up high. You can see this in the photo above.

    The point here is that this is football not cheerleading so if you can’t take a hit or a busted lip then don’t play. These guys get paid millions to take it.

    I can’t tell Rogers to man up cause he did and hasn’t complained to my knowledge but I can tell all you cry babies to man up. If you don’t like hard hitting football go watch tennis.

    Helmet to outside shoulder is standard technique, the person who reference old school guys, wrong……no coach has ever yelled a player to start arm tackling. Makes me laugh though.

  43. This goes to show how little Urlacher knows. He was screamimg at the ref for the penalty. Hey Brian, maybe you lost because you believe in taking out the other team’s QB,,,but guess what,,it back fired …When I saw Urlacher screaming on that play, I wanted the Packer to win soooo much just for his ignorance,,,and unprofessionalism

  44. How many more articles do we have to read from the crack PFT staff until we’re informed that this is the 2nd time in the last two meetings that Peppers has been flagged for an illegal late hit on Rodgers?

    In addition to the ugly cheap shot this week, he also was flagged for a late hit, after which he went out of his way to hit Rodgers in the head as they both went to the ground.

    To the budding journo’s at PFT, this is commonly known as “a pattern”.

    A 10K fine when the guy is guilty of multiple cheap shots on a division rivals star QB, over the course of a few weeks no less? That smacks of nothing but superstar favoritism by the league. PFT’s refusal to even acknowledge the disturbing trend smacks similarly.

  45. Packattack says Peppers was pissed off for the Packers being abls to hold him off most of the game. Key word when refering to the Packers offensive line all season; “Hold”.

    They’ve been doing it all season long and they will have to do that to survive the Steelers.

  46. The funny thing is that Briggs slapped Rogers other ear hole on that same play. It looked to me that the Bears rolled the dice on risking the penalty to take out Rogers on that play. They knocked him down, drew blood, and made him dazed, but ultimately failed. A 10,000 fine for such a blatant attempt, seems like a joke to me. This wasa Championship game! Reminds me of the Saints high-low hit of Favre in last years Championship… but at least they called this one.

  47. Once again the Commish and his henchmen protect cetain players! If Harrison would have done that, Godell would have him suspended him for Super Bowl! Cant wait to see what Flynn does in Super Bowl when Rodgers get KO’D!!

  48. Clearly, the message here is:

    If you do illegal things in big games, your fine will be significantly lower than normal.

    This should stop late helmet-to-helmet hits on players.

    Way to keep the NFL players’ long term health in your best interests.

  49. Unreal. I don’t believe in fining players because the league has no data to show fining minimizes head injuries … and bad hits should be FLAGGED so teams are penalized during the game. But if you’re going to fine them, do it CONSISTENTLY. How did these fines go from $50,000 for a first offense in September to $10,000 in January??

  50. I am a Packers fan and do hate the bears. But, that aside it was a hit worth a penelty and a fine. Albeit a much larger fine. If anybody in their right mind can actually look at the clip and not see a penalty and fine then they are in denial. I do not like all this touchy feely crap either but that hit was unecessary and ruthless. The frustration at losing and being kept out of arms reach of Rodgers all game became too much and he let his anger get the better of him. When you let your anger cloud your judgement you lose, no matter what it is, you lose. I do not want flag football either but these blatant hits to literally put someone out of the game are dead wrong. I hope it doesn’t come to that. And to the comment that Brady would have gotten up yelling. Yes he would have. He is the most incredible whiner in football history. Although Rodgers was on his knees spitting blood and couldn’t complain to anybody. Not that he would have; he was incapable.
    I want good old hard hitting football, but I want to keep the players from being crippled too.
    Harrison does have a legitimate complaint. I didn’t think that all his fines were warranted.
    And, yes Roger Goodell is nuts. Maybe he has good days and bad days depending on his meds.

  51. this is garbage, considering he was alraedy in mid tackle when rodgers turned into him, had he not turned into him he would have hit his sholder pad like peppers intended.

  52. Man, if Dick Vermeil, John Boehner, Ronnie from Jersey Shore and Tammy Faye Baker had a colic-y lovechild, it wouldn’t cry as much as you Packer fans.

    You guys are starting to make Viking fans seem macho.

    Boo hoo, waah waah–you won the game, what more do you want?

    For Goodell himself to drive in the spikes that put Peppers up on a cross?

    Hits (anagram fun!) happen. Move on.

    Don’t worry, the league would never let anything happen to the media’s new super-darling, old Goggle Eyes Erin.

  53. I see dewey is a real brain child. The guys name is all over this page and he still misspells it. He’s probably a fan of the king of jackasses who used to be in GreenBay.
    So what team are you a fan of? Probably soccer or some such thing.
    Lets see Peppers was angry…fact
    Peppers lowered his head…….fact
    Its against the rules……………..fact
    Briggs was guilty too…………….fact
    Thebears all whined about it..fact
    Luck got them to that game…fact
    Go home bear fans

  54. Typical of Packer fans. Every other team is lucky, but the packers get there with skill. God I hate packer fans.

    Rodgers is gay. Fact
    Packer fans are still whining about the fine amount. Fact Packers get beat handily. Fact.
    Packer fans, when they lose will bring up their dusty trophies. Without a freaking doubt. FACT!!!

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