Titans’ Griffin fined $21K, thinks NFL puts players “in a tough spot”


Titans safety Michael Griffin said last week that he felt like he didn’t know how to play defense in the NFL, because everyone tells you your job is to deliver big hits — right up until the point when the NFL docks your pay for delivering a big hit.

Well, guess what? This week Griffin has been fined for delivering a big hit.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that Griffin was fined $21,000 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness for a hit on Vikings receiver Michael Jenkins during the Titans’ loss to the Vikings on Sunday. Griffin picked up a 15-yard penalty on the play.

Griffin says he’s not sure what the NFL wants from players, but he knows the NFL is watching him.

“The fine could double, or you could get a one-game suspension if the league thinks you didn’t learn your lesson,” Griffin said. “It puts you in a tough spot. But you just have to play and try not to worry about it.”

Griffin echoes the opinions that we’ve heard from dozens of other players in the NFL: You’re supposed to play tough, physical football. But if your play becomes too tough or too physical, it’s going to cost you.

35 responses to “Titans’ Griffin fined $21K, thinks NFL puts players “in a tough spot”

  1. The roughing the passer flag on Nick Perry’s textbook sack to Andrew Luck has me seriously thinking about giving up watching football.

  2. The NFL needs to stop with these fines, they don’t accomplish anything. If the NFL thinks defenders are worried about fines .2 seconds before a big hit they are sorely mistaken.

    Might as well fine players for false starts and holding, I’m sure they would be equally effective in preventing future transgressions.

  3. “…because everyone tells you your job is to deliver big hits”

    Whomever is telling Griffin this hasn’t bothered with the rule book. Your job is to tackle the ball carrier and minimize the gain.

  4. The fines should be reserved for the truly egregious and dangerous violations. Trying to take someone’s head off ought to warrant a fine. A big hit that happens to result in an injury should not. Some of these guys did not deserve a fine but many of them do. The main problem is poor tackling in general. Many defenders just launch their bodies and try to get a runner down like bowling ball vs. pin. Others slam into the guy and bring their forearms up to extend the blow. Neither constitutes tackling. The league is concerned about safety and lawsuits and at times goes overboard but every one of the guys that get fined complain…even the ones that absolutely deserve it. Play better/correctly and the chance of a fine is greatly reduced. Tackle the guy without trying to make sportscenter.

  5. The NFL needs to stop with the fines, and focus its attention on improving equipment to maximize player safety. At the end of the day, football is a violent sport, and players are well aware of the risks. That is why they make the money that they do.

  6. I agree with a lot of the above, and I also would not want to be a defensive player in our league today. With that being said, there was failure to mention in the article that it wasn’t just a big hit, it was helmet to helmet. He lead with his helmet, that is why the flag was thrown. Every player should know by now, that will draw a flag and a fine every time.

  7. If these rules were in place 30 years ago, guys like Doug Plank, Gary Fencik, and Mike Singletary would have been fined or suspended every game.

  8. As long as that brain dead talking head is presiding over the NFL, expect more of the same. Why he still has a job after all he has done to totally destroy this once great game is beyond me. He needs to either step down or get the boot. One way or another, he needs to go – period.

  9. That’s just a matter of time. Everytime I see a hit I wait for flags to fly. I think it should be two hand touch at this point. Defense is dead. The game has changed for the worse forever

  10. With the players thinking so much instead of just reacting and playing, someone is going to get seriously hurt.

  11. I have a suggestion for Griffin. Don’t lead with your helmet.

    2nd suggestion: Don’t lead with your helmet and hit the receiver in the helmet.

    That might help you avoid a fine. Griffin will probably be a player who sues the NFL for concussions too!

  12. Retired NFL players sue the NFL because the NFL didn’t do enough to protect them throughout their career and now they have neurological disorders. The NFLPA supports the lawsuits. In response the NFL does everything it can to protect current players in later life. Anyone else see the contradiction here? Not everything is Goodell’s fault.

  13. This sport has seen it’s last days!!

    I have a suggestion, every player “donates” $1,000 ro the NFL before the game starts and then they are allowed to play normal, hysical football.

    Will that make you happey Greedy Goodell???

  14. It sucks that the aggression is being taken away from defenders, but in this case, I don’t know what Griffin is complaining about. He might be a good defender/tackler, but on this hit he had such poor technique and he launched with his helmet. What sucks is when people lower the boom with their shoulder and still get flagged. But in this case, Griffin shouldn’t be complaining.

    You can drop the hit stick on someone without using your helmet. Some of the best do this every Sunday.

    P.S. I love seeing big hits, just hate players complaining about hits that are clearly illegal in this league.

  15. it`s not really all that difficult…aim your hit at the mid section and you won`t hit the head.

    The mentality needs to change in this sport. The game is too dangerous to survive the lawsuits that are piling up.

  16. The NFL did not fine Griffin for a big hit, but for helmet to helmet. Dude launched himself hitting with the crown of his helmet. He himself got hurt on the play.

    So to characterize this as just a big hit getting fined is ridiculous.

  17. I was always taught you wanted to send a clear message to make sure that the running back or receiver think twice about coming in your area.
    Now Regina wants to fine defensive players moving at full speed for putting hits onto the offense player above the shoulders. When the offensive player ducks down and you hit him above the shoulder is illegal. Watch the footage in slow motion and if the offensive player ducks his head and he get hit above the shoulder then it should be no flag. Defensive player has to worry about losing his starting job, money and being flagged. Talk about hogwash…I watched the lingerie league and I visualized some nice blows from those females. This is getting pitiful by the week.

  18. All we hear is player safety but playing defense not only aren’t you able to play hard you have to worry what will be considered a fine. The offense gets fined for nothing. The league has blinders on the fact even with the REGULAR refs there is no consistency in the flag throwing on Sunday. This in turn gets reported to league on hits flaged with fines following. If it is as frustrating to fans as all the comments have shown I can’t imagine a player. They have to get ready for a game, play at a high speed and then worry if that play will get fined. Truly the NFL has become a video game, total entertainment value, high score ,no regard to defense as part of game.

  19. Is the guy from the Jets getting 50k then for blatantly diving at the back of Cushing’s knee? Not all season changing and career changing hits come at a players head. I’d say that’s more malicious than some of the unnecessary roughness penalties I have seen this year.

  20. There were no concussion lawsuits until Goodell started talking about it and fining players for fair, legal hits. Follow the money. I guarentee you Goodell has some past ties to the law firms that are bringing these suits. He went to law school with some them, his cousins work for them, something.

    Goodell is the worst thing that ever happened to this league. I hope he’s ready to be booed at every draft from now until he resigns. He’s ruining the game and setting the NFL up to be eclipsed by a new, tougher brand of football.

  21. …more evidence of Roger Goodell ruining the most popular sport in history.

    Do the real fans (not the ridiculous pink lovers – pink has NO place in the NFL) a favor Commish, let em play ball.

  22. There was nothing wrong with Griffin’s hit on Jenkins. Shouldn’t have been either a penalty or fine. Where is Josh Robinson’s punishment for injuring Javon Ringer intentionally & possibly ending his season?

  23. This message is for tmac4454.

    I don’t know how you were taught to tackle, but I was taught to tackle around the torso, lift and drive them to the ground…that is text book. You keep your head up and drive them. Trust me, it sends a pretty clear message when you knock the wind out of them. You don’t need to knock them out with a concussion. Most of you commenting on how the NFL is getting soft, must be a bunch of meatheads (or Steelers fans). Again, i love the big hits, but when someone gets hit and lays motionless on the ground for a few minutes, that isn’t exactly entertainment to me.

  24. The NFL has discovered a new revenue center. Whenever they need a little money for their bogus charities they just levee another fine.

    My question is if its used for charity can the players write it off? God knows with the money they make they can use the deductions.

  25. This is what happens when you let lawyers run the game of football. They are deathly afraid of the lawsuits. If the NFL had just thrown the ex players a bone and taken a little better care of the older guys the lawsuits wouldn’t have happened. The head of the NFL now has to show to the lawyers that he’s taking action to PREVENT these kinds of damaging hits for the future. Blame ESPN Sportscenter and NFL Films for glorifying the big hits.

    On the other hand, this will teach the defenders to tackle properly. Watch rugby. These guys don’t lead with the head and almost always wrap up on the tackle.

  26. The Ginger Hammer is only interested in the perception he and the owners who employ him give a crap about player safety. In reality we know he’s as full of crap as a race track horse stable.

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