Jon Bostic reportedly fined $21,000 for hit against Chargers

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Early on Wednesday, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs posted a tweet that said he was having a “shaking my head moment” because his teammate Jon Bostic was fined $21,000 for a hit against the Chargers in last week’s preseason game.

Briggs compared Bostic’s hit to the one that knocked Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller out for the season and, as many others have done with similar hits, wondered why the former is illegal while the latter is legal. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirmed Briggs’ report and adds that Bostic was fined for lowering his head while hitting a defenseless receiver.

You can see the hit on, where the caption explains that Bostic’s tackle forced an incompletion on a pass to Chargers wide receiver Mike Willie. The URL for the video reads pretty much the same way, except the word “spectacular” is used as a modifier for tackle.

It’s not the first time that the NFL has sent mixed messages about the nature of hits that are celebrated in highlight videos by the league and its broadcasting partners while the men making them are penalized. Even without the word “spectacular” to describe Bostic’s hit, the league’s website is highlighting it as a great play by Bostic and not a violation of the league’s rules which suggests the league needs to be more consistent with its messaging or the rules governing which hits are illegal need to change.

50 responses to “Jon Bostic reportedly fined $21,000 for hit against Chargers

  1. The no fun league strikes again. If that wasn’t a clean hit I don’t know what is. If he doesn’t make that hit that pass would have been a completion. Keep making plays

  2. I’m a chargers fan and this still makes me mad. Everyone agreed it was a clean hit, even Mike Willie. There was no penalty flag on the play, and now you’re gonna slap a fine on him? Come on NFL.

  3. Stupid. And where do they come up with these numbers? My guess is darts thrown at a chart.

  4. What a joke.

    1. Bostic (a rookie) has been fined 21K (~5%) of his salary. If this were a veteran, the fine would be closer to .5% of his salary. If there is a rookie wage scale, there needs to be a rookie fine scale.

    2. No flags on the play.

    3. The hit was clean.

  5. The further solidifies that the NFL doesn’t care for it’s players rather than taking money out of the pockets for head trauma cases.

    Fidel Goddell must go

  6. The hit was a result of the play call. That’s what may happen on a quick inside screen once the player cuts against the grain he might get popped. I don’t see a thing wrong with the hit its a perfect form tackle. Basically he got fined for making a great play. What a joke

  7. If not for the damage and terrible subsequent PR of the Dustin Keller hit, the league would probably have let this pass. But, with the ambiguous state of tackling rules, and defenders blaming the new rules for forcing them to go low, the NFL did what it does best: put the onus on the tackler.

    So – tackle high, penalty, fine, possible suspension. Tackle low, penalty, fine, possible suspension. What’s high and low? About as consistent as the strike zone in baseball.

    Ultimately, the rule will boil down to this. Tackle a quarterback – you’re dead meat. Glancing, even accidental, blow to the head – you’re outta here. Any other tackle that causes PR problems for the league – ipso facto, and retroactively, illegal.

  8. someone is going to have to explain to me why he was fined… I’ve watched the video a dozen times and still don’t see anything wrong with it. This is exactly why the hit on Keller was completely understandable.. if your a defensive player, what choice do you have???

  9. As someone who has followed this sport for almost 50 years I can truly say the league office is ruining the sport.

    Anyone else miss “Jacked Up” ?

  10. This is insane.

    If that hit is illegal they all are.

    It honestly pisses me off that they are trying to take plays like that out of the game. That should be the example of how to hit hard to the body…not a $21,000 fine!

    And $21,000? Where did that # come from?! “Uh…that looks like a $21,000 hit.” WHAT!?

  11. There is far too much yaw. I mean, if I were a defensive player I would be totally confused as to what I could do and what I couldn’t. I use the metaphor that I used last night about a car driving @20MPH turning on a dime and hitting their mark every time. If a player is going hard for a hit and at the last second the receiver drops the ball how do you go from 20 – 0 in .05 seconds?

    You can’t.

    The fines are huge. It’s not like the players are doing these finable hits on purpose. They try to let up when and if they can but on Wednesday there is a letter from the commish saying your check is going to be light for a bang-bang play? I mean, you swing somebody’s helmet at them, I understand a fine. You stomp on someone’s head or throw a punch in a fight I understand a fine. But bang-bang football plays that are not habitual or intentional is just bull. And, the fact that defensive players receive the lion’s share of the penalties by a mile. The commish is making it tough for them to do their jobs and it leads to low hits and missed tackles.

    I don’t like it. I don’t like it with the Commish. I don’t like it in a dish.

  12. Im no Bears nor Chargers fan, but that was the best example of a hard, clean hit. Now they wanna hit em’ with a fine?!?!? I’m sorry, but Roger Godell is ruinning the game we love with this crap. Sorry to say, but football is no longer about the guts and glory.

  13. Apparently the NFL wants him to keep his head up and increase the chances for helmet to helmet contact. Also not really sure I’d call the receiver defenseless, since he was changing directions when he got hit. In my opinion this was a fantastic hit by Bostic.

  14. This is insane!

    How was he a defenseless receiver? He caught the ball and looked up field and took two steps. (should’ve been fumble) How was he defenseless?

    If he hadn’t hit him to force that fumble it would have been a catch and a 3-4 yard gain. This is mind-boggling.

    He lowered his head and hit him in the shoulder? from the side. What’s wrong with that?

  15. If you slow it down he does lower his head and put himself in a vulnerable position. I don’t think this warranted a fine but Bostic is fortune not to have injured himself on the play.

    I can see a penalty being called but not a fine. Similar to running backs lowering their heads.

  16. richmondbolt says: Aug 21, 2013 10:58 AM

    Stupid. And where do they come up with these numbers? My guess is darts thrown at a chart.


    I was going to say the same thing.

  17. and the authors on this site have been complaining for years that NFL players need to wake up and change the way they play the game, its too brutal, blah blah blah… its people like that who have forced the NFL’s hand into the pillow-fest its becoming.

  18. Welcome to the new NFL, where any defensive players can get fined on a whim.

    We the fans should unite and boycott the games until this garbage stops. The owners will fly to make the correct changes the second their wallets feel a little lighter.

  19. Absolutely legal hit. I understand that they’ve refined the rules to reduce concussions, but this was well within those rules. If they’re not careful players will begin to disregard the rules if they start to feel as though they are being fined for making legal hits…if you’re going to pay you might as well take your shots and make big plays.

  20. This is what happens when slimeball lawyers and Goodell run the league instead of football people. Kudos to Josh Alper for pointing out the hypocrisy of the league and their broadcast partners for putting these huge hits on their highlights and then turning around and fining the players.

    The old NFL Films would be out of business by now if they didn’t have all those hard hits to show.

  21. C’mon now John! What were you thinking? I know you weren’t taught how to arm tackle in college, but this is the new football that Roger Goodell is inventing. Pussify the game and create tons of avenue’s to fine players and raise the revenue input so it flows back to the NFL. Who’s team are you playing for John??? Roger’s or “the other guys”?

  22. Ridiculous! Willie was NOT a defenseless receiver. I assume this has more to do with the new rules about leading with the helmet.

  23. An NFL owner in Ohio making millions by defrauding customers in his trucking business? No problem … An owner in Minnesota with fraud, racketeering and organized-crime-type activities? Look the other way. A football field so unkempt, in such terrible condition that a young quarterback blows out his knee? No fine.

    A player has his socks pulled down during a game? OH NO!! $5,000 fine! Honk! Beep! Squawk! The Sheild! The SHEILD!!!

    Fine a player for a hit while labeling it “spectacular” on a promo video? NFL Hypocrites on Madison Avenue accept all donations, including pennies, nickels and dimes.

  24. I don’t know about you but I was taught to cause a fumble, you lower your head to the ball to knock it out. The ball was in his lap. Lower than Bostic. He lowered his head to knock the ball out, which he did. That’s a textbook tackle.

  25. Clowney made a name for himself with a tackle like this and he’s getting fined? I guess he’d be out of the league if he did it to Brady or Peyton…

  26. The only way the league will alter corse is if something hurts their bottom line, hopefully it happens soon enough that these idiots don’t do too much permanent damage. Then again, maybe instead of watching network broadcasts ill leave my neilson box on PBS during the game and take advantage of some good ol Internet.

  27. Not that they listen, but the NFL should know they’re wrong just from responses. Not only announcers, commentators, writers, but fans. Look at the comment section here, has anyone EVER seen such one sided response to ANY sports article? Even the trolls are on the side of common sense on this one.

  28. I have a feeling this fine might unofficially be paid for him by his teammates….that was a good solid textbook tackle….

  29. Bostic lowered his head, and made initial contact to the receiver’s face mask.

    If the NFL is considering the receiver defenseless at that point, the hit was illegal under the helmet-to-helmet rule. Personally, it looked to me like the receiver had caught the ball, put it away, taken two steps, and was changing direction. That’s pretty far from defenseless in my book.

    However, under the new ‘crown’ rule, anytime you line up an opponent, lower your head, and hit him anywhere with the crown of your helmet, it’s an illegal hit.

    Either way, under current rules, there’s no way that was a legal hit.

    Welcome to the new NFL.

  30. Well, obviously the job of a defender is to let the offensive player run right by them. And don’t spike or spin the ball, you might hurt the millionaire’s feelings.

  31. #JonBosticTwitterTelethon

    Pitch in a dollar… going for a “fans pay NFL fine to protest league ruling of illegal hit” headline…maybe that’ll show the NFL what fans think of this crap.

  32. couple caveats here:
    1) in no way am i a fan of the new league rules
    2) i am a huge bears fan, loved this hit, i think it was not only legal but, a catch and fumble

    that being said, to those that are ripping on goodell and blaming him should keep in mind his job is to promote the success of the league and right now, there are 4,000 people suing the nfl for head related injuries. while i agree that the fine is outrageous and the hit should have been ruled legal as the WR was not defenseless and turned up field after a catch, it is not goodell’s fault and he isn’t acting like a tyrant by enforcing / implementing head related rules. if you ran a company and 4,000 people were suing you wouldn’t you do something to mitigate the risk? if the players association were to say no worries on head trauma, we won’t sue then fine, go back to real football. but they (players, owners, league office) and we (fans), can’t have it both ways. stop blaming goodell, it just sounds like a knee jerk reaction to hold someone at fault when it is a much bigger and more complex issue then that.

  33. Roger Goodell is ruining this game!! Any hard hit, regardless of how legal it actually is, is flagged or fined, or both, these days. Offensive players could just start laying on the ground feigning injury to draw flags. Its going to end up like freaking soccer! There are only two possible eventualities with the road the NFL is on. They are either going to outlaw tackling and make it two hand touch or they are going to make every player sign a waiver that prevents them from sueing the league in the future in order to be eligible to play. I can only hope its the latter.

  34. I have been slowly detaching from the NFL for 3-4 years now. Got rid of Sunday ticket this year and don’t feel obligated to watch my team on Sunday. And my team is a top tier team. I just don’t want to watch basketball on grass.

  35. The fact that the url for the play highlight contains the word ‘spectacular’ further emphasises the sheer inconsistency we are dealing with.

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