Meriweather suspension reduced to one game

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An expedited appeal hearing has resulted in an even more expedited outcome.

The NFL has announced that Ted Cottrell has reduced the two-game suspension imposed earlier this week on Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather to one game.

Meriweather will lose one of 17 game checks.  At a base salary of $1.2 million for 2013, that’s lost earnings of $70,588.

Cottrell, jointly hired and paid by the NFL and the NFLPA, had final say on the matter.  Meriweather will miss Sunday’s game against the Broncos, and he’ll be able to rejoin the team on Monday, in advance of the Week Nine game against the Chargers.

Meriweather was fined $42,000 in September for applying an illegal hit to Packers running back Eddie Lacy.  Meriweather illegally hit both Bears receiver Alshon Jeffrey and Bears receiver Brandon Marshall in the head/neck area during Sunday’s game between the two teams.

It’s the third straight time in a case involving a suspension that the NFL’s decision was not fully enforced.  Last year, Cottrell scuttled a one-game suspension given to former Ravens safety Ed Reed.  Last month, Matt Birk overturned a one-game suspension levied against Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson.

56 responses to “Meriweather suspension reduced to one game

  1. Next time if the NFL wants two games suspended they should be smart and simply suspend him four games.

  2. It would be nice if there was a consistent structure for dealing with the infractions. You’d likely see a lot less appeals resulting in punishments reduced or overturned if it was along the lines of a first offense fine of $X, second offense $2X, third offense 1 game, fourth offense 3 games, fifth offense 8 games, etc.

    Handling each player in a vaccuum makes it much more difficult to get things to stick.

  3. Absolute joke. Guys is quickly becoming the dirtiest player in the League and only because there have been little to no consequences. This one game suspension results in a smaller penalty the. The $100k fine earlier.

    Give out a decision and stick with it. This guy has no clue.

  4. If there’s one guy who shouldn’t have gotten a reduced suspension its Meriweather. Hrs a habitual offender if there ever was one.

  5. Well, to combat this crap the league needs to just double the suspension they really want.

    Doesn’t say in the article, do the arbitrators have to give their reasoning? They should.

  6. This is a joke, so now we know that fines and appeals will be reduced through the appeal process. At least Merton Hanks has gotten smart and if he wants a guy to sit out for an egregious penalty he knows to issue a 2 game suspension with the expectation it will get reduced to 1. If you want to fine someone $50K fine, him a $100K and when it is halved by Cottrell you get what you actually wanted. This stunk of a reduction to 1 game from the point 2 were announced. You really want to get serious about head injuries NFL, get guys like Meriweather out of the game, he is a bad bad seed and has no remorse or care for other players safety, ironic that it is his union that fights these appeals for him.

  7. karlton3 says:
    Oct 23, 2013 3:58 PM
    Next time if the NFL wants two games suspended they should be smart and simply suspend him four games.


    Smart guy, they probably wanted to suspend him one game.

  8. Becareful what you wish for. All these head-to-head hits are now going to or will become through evolution of the game, low hits taking out knees, legs, hips, ribs.

    Merriweather keep doing and playing like you are. You have struck fear in the players which has transcended to the fans who are now scared and hate you. We love you man. JUST AIM LOWER.

  9. Well…. I guess that makes sense. Reduced suspensions should go out to anyone who isn’t a repeat offender! (gimme a break!) All this does is open the door for nutjobs like Ndamukong Suh to get away with more and more crap that he does. Goodell professes that the league is all about SAFETY first…… I beg to differ. “Loopholes” seem to be top fiddle. Another broken system!

  10. I’m pretty sure Meriweather’s learned his lesson this time. I’m pretty sure the league told him if does it again, it’ll be a four game suspension, reduced to one game. They’re really getting serious.

  11. With this travesty of a decision, it’s clear that players need to start taking matters into their own hands if they want to protect their teammates from clowns like Meriweather….. MARTIAL LAW in the NFL is on the horizon!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  12. WTH?

    This must be like traffic court – you show, the officer doesn’t – ticket dismissed or just reduced to fine, no points for revenue generation.

    What about safety? So what will happen when someone is injured by this waste-of-space?

    Was there remorse to go with the forgiveness? I’d love to see the transcripts of this bogus group circle jerk!

  13. jbl429 says:

    “Smart guy, they probably wanted to suspend him one game.”

    I thought the same thing when I first heard about the two game suspension. Twice before, the one game suspension was reduced to a fine, so they made it two games, so it could be reduced to one. Now the precedent is set for suspensions for repeat violations. Now he is hurting his team and not just his pocketbook. Maybe coaches will take notice now and teach (coach) him proper hitting techniques.

  14. Yep, only miss the game against the Donkeys…because the NFL doesn’t want one of their little darlings hurt…perfect timing.

  15. Hey morons, the NFL knew the suspension would get reduced that’s why they place a 2 game suspension. Most 1 game suspension get overturned, so enough of the travesty talk. As a skins fan, I’m just not a fan of this guy. He is all we have at this time due to that crappy cap penalty, or he wouldn’t even be on this roster. Trust me, he will out of the NFL next year. No one will sign him. This is his last year on his contract.

  16. What hypocrisy by the NFL and their concern for player safety! What a joke! This guy has been fined multiple times and was supposed to be suspended last year for one game appealed and got only a fine. So, Ted Cotrell, I guess he has learned his lesson?! So it is only one game and guess what? This guy will do it again until somebody is maimed for life or killed and then they can sue the NFL for their stupidity.

  17. Brandon commented in the Skins locker room, “My job is to make players fearful about going over the middle.” I’d say he did his job. When recievers sign up to play in the NFL, they sign up to be hit and they know it. Meriweather is an old school safety in a league that has given in to the lawyers and the concept of liability. In 10 years the NFL will look completely different and I really don’t think I will like it at all.

  18. The James Harrison of DBs. A guy who tries to use the helmet as a weapon (note how many guys Harrison has hurt hitting legally – NONE).

    What is absurd is that neither of these dudes realize that they can break their own necks by dropping the head and hitting with the crown.

    Just ask the guy from Rutgers about that.

  19. OK, so Suh gets fined for hitting players hard (but generally within the rules beside his stomping incident) and Meriweather launches himself every play and gets his penalty reduced? The NFL is so ass backwards with its enforcement and its ideology, it is almost as if it is trying to destroy its own product.

  20. These guys are jointly hired by the league and NFLPA. Either side can fire them at the end of the season/year. This is simply a guy trying to please both sides to keep his job. If he kills the suspension completely the league fires him, if he upholds it, the PA does. Split it down the middle and hope neither side gets mad. The problem is that both sides could be upset with that decision.

    The main issue is that the league and the NFLPA need to jointly enforce discipline. Too bad the players association will only look out for the guys in trouble while disregarding the safety of the rest of their membership. The league has gone overboard on some things but this two game suspension was not one of them.

  21. So Ted Cotrell and Matt Burk are paid jointly by the NFL and the NFLPA, and all they really do is take their NFL/NFLPA mandated meat cleaver and slash every suspension in half. Typical practice of organized labor and it has absolutely nothing to do with addressing the actual offense or the offender. It’s just a way to take the hard earned money of players who have had their heads nearly taken off by guys like Meriweather to protect guys like Meriweather. It’s really no different than any other union job where bad, unproductive, trouble-making employees have their jobs protected at the expense of good, productive ones. I’m nnt really sure why we even go through the charade. Just give the suspension, wait about a half hour (and call it “an appeal”) and then reduce it by half and we could be done with all this nonsense.

  22. The problem here is before Goodell players were pretty much never suspended for any type of on field behavior. They weren’t even fined anywhere near the numbers that get handed out today.

    As such, trying to suspend the players is setting a new precedent. The arbitrator has to look at that and can’t allow a player to be singled out for behavior that has not gotten other suspended in the past.

    At the same time the arbitrator has to take into account changing rules and the current day safety issues.

    That’s why he looked at the situation and reduced the suspension to 1 game. Its a compromise between setting a new precedent and the changing rules/goals of the NFL related to player safety.

  23. There’s a difference between incidental contact and someone intentionally trying to hurt someone. The NFL may have dropped the ball on this one but Meriweather better keep his head on a swivel. Vigilante justice is a bitch.

  24. Skins catch a break. They are going to lose the Denver game regardless so it’s actually probably the best game for him to be suspended.

    That said, Merriweather is a real bonehead and I would not shocked to see him do this again as soon as he comes back.

  25. I don’t see what the big deal is about all of this. I lettered in football all four years of HS and could show these players a thing or two about safety. You want safety? Be good enough to not get tackled by a defender. Bank on it!

  26. All these comments blaming the NFL for this decision are off base. The NFL made their decision, which was appealed and modified by the “INDEPENDENT” arbitrator, who was jointly hired by the NFL and NFLPA. This is NOT an NFL decision to reduce the punishment.

    If you want to blame someone for going light on the players, blame the arbitrator(s) or the NFLPA for appealing the rulings. The NFLPA appeals to protect the one player at the detriment of all others being hurt by the offender. The arbitrators make the process a joke by reducing every penalty. Is the NFL really being over-zealous, requiring every decision to be reduced or maybe they are just placating the NFLPA by letting them have a little “win” by reducing the penalty.

  27. Firesnyder…

    Old school football does not mean attacking someone’s head or leading with your helmet. That is not taught anywhere. Hitting a guy with your shoulder in his chest puts plenty of fear into receivers going across the middle. Ronnie Lott was a master at that. Concussing a defenseless player with a shot to the head isn’t necessary for this to continue to be a great sport. If you need knock-outs pay your $50 and watch a UFC event on pay per view.

  28. I will tell you why it was reduced to one game,one of those alleged head shots was a shoulder to chest shot,You would be able to see it if you didnt own a 19″ black and white TV!!!!!!!

    Everybody is bashing and condemning this guy but it was`nt that long ago When James Harrison was doing this nonstop,Guess its ok when its the Steelers,Eh!!!!!

  29. so, let’s compare. in suh’s nfl career he has knocked how many players out of a game (with all of his dirty, reckless, etc etc play)? the answer is Zero!

    and merriweather? how many players has he injured and knocked out of games? and isn’t he the same guy who was using his helmet as a weapon in that big college brawl?

    but let’s reduce the penalty for the guy who goes “kill-shot” all the time. makes sense to me.

  30. I will literally laugh out loud one of these days when a Wideout is on to him and lowers the boom when he’s trying to Spear them and ends up giving himself a career ending concussion and/or spinal injury. I would never wish injury upon anyone, but in this particular case I feel MUCH differently. He is a complete tool and if he doesn’t end his own career soon, he will end up ruining someone else’s.

  31. This guy is a dangerous player. He is a repeat offender with hits to the head, which must be his intent. He makes Suh look like a choir boy.

  32. Plenty of guys hit hard, clean, and are great tacklers. Polamalu and Weddle come to mind. Just because youre not head hunting doesnt mean you have to play soft or start destroying knees.

  33. I don’t think BW is doing anything wrong except “sometimes” leading with the top of his helmet. Did you see Orakpo sack the QB? he hit him right as the ball was released and put his facemask right in the QBs chest. Roughing the passer was called. I can understand player safety but they all signed up to play a tough sport. Goddell is making this a flag football league or 99% offense and 1% defense. I would hate to play defense no adays.. they will start getting hurt because they are thinking about how to tackle. Even though Randall Cobb is now hurt for the season, I don’t blame the Ravens DB. You have to go for the legs now to not be fined and that is SO stupid.. more knee injuries than brain injuries… I just hate where the league is going.

  34. Absolutely astonishing. A guy who is hated by players and the league alike for his gutless hits over his entire career is finally suspended and his suspension reduced. NFL conceded too much when they gave away final say in punishments.

  35. I didn’t think either was helmet to helmet. Perhaps targeting but not helmet to helmet. This was profiling simply because he has that helmet on. The second hit was done with his forearms. Completely preposterous.

  36. NFL blew this one. You want to eliminate head contact. But don’t want to suspended a guy with history of head contact for two games. What a joke

  37. IF the league is really serious about making the game safer then reducing Meriweather’s suspension to one game is a farce. He has been doing this for years and its not like he has not been warned. It will happen again and again until the NFL is serious and suspends Meriweather like the NFL does with repeat positive drug tests… start with 2 games, then 8 games then a full season.

  38. If this was nadamawatever Suh he would have gotten a $500,000 fine and a 7-10 game suspension. (Meriweayher must has family somewhere in the NFL offices)

  39. Call me old fashioned cause I can remember when football was football. Tell the QB’s to stop starring down their receivers.

    Newest play call in the playback. Guy’s we need a first down no matter what.

    You want to WIN don’t you?

    Hang em out to dry on 3… Break!

    The NFFL is going to take some getting used to.

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