Sunday’s Redskins-Patriots game saw four players draw personal foul penalties that could have drawn fines from the league office, but only two of them will have their paychecks docked.
The NFL told PFT that Patriots defensive end Andre Carter was fined $15,000 for roughing Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman, while Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall was fined $7,500 for throwing an official’s penalty flag.
Hall just made a stupid decision by picking up the flag and chucking it after he didn’t like a defensive holding call that went against him, and it’s no surprise that he was fined. Carter’s case is a closer call: It’s true that he hit Grossman in the knee, but Grossman still had the ball and appeared to be running at the time Carter went to make a tackle, and it only became roughing the passer because Grossman threw the ball in the split second that Carter was in the air diving for Grossman.
“It’s so difficult, because you’re trying to play physical and fast,” Carter told Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I can’t control the fact this player moved a certain way. That’s the frustrating part of it. . . . Rules keep on getting more tighter and tighter, to the point where it’s like ‘How can we play football? How can this game still be physical?’ It’s just getting so difficult. . . . I’ve always been a clean player. The last thing I want to do is take out somebody’s knee. I’m just playing football.”
Redskins linebacker London Fletcher and Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork both drew unnecessary roughness penalties, but neither was fined.
Fletcher’s flag came for hitting Tom Brady while he was sliding, a penalty that referee Jeff Triplette preposterously described as “a forearm to the quarterback’s head” even though Fletcher’s forearm never came close to Brady’s head. Fletcher wasn’t fined for that, and he also wasn’t fined for anything after that — even though he was so furious about the bad call that he appeared to make contact with an official while arguing about it. Fletcher easily could have found himself in the same company as Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who was fined $25,000 last week for contact with an official, but Fletcher did not get fined.
Wilfork’s flag came for hitting Redskins running back Evan Royster while Royster was already on the ground. Wilfork argued that he hadn’t done anything wrong because Royster hadn’t been touched and could have gotten up and started running if Wilfork hadn’t jumped on him, and the NFL apparently agreed, because Wilfork wasn’t fined.