Michael Griffin won’t change playing style because “you lose money regardless”


Titans safety Michael Griffin will be back in the lineup for the Titans this week after serving a one-game suspension in Week 13 for accumulating several hits against defenseless receivers.

Griffin sounded the familiar lament of present day defenders by saying he felt defensive players were “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” while trying to hit receivers in legal areas while those receivers are moving in ways that make that difficult. As a result, Griffin said he won’t be changing the way he plays because he feels like it’s a choice between being fined by the league or being dropped by your team if you don’t make the hits.

“At the end of the day, the question is this: either the league is going to take money out of my pocket or the team is going to release you if you can’t get the job done,” Griffin said, via ESPN.com. “They’re going to find somebody else to come in here that can get the job done. You’re losing money regardless, however you want to look at it. You tell me. However I need to get the job done, I’m going to get the job done. You can’t think about it. The league ain’t going to give me money. They’re not going to pay me to do the job correctly. I’ve just got to play.”

Griffin lost more than $200,000 because of last week’s suspension, which provides financial impetus to avoid drawing flags for hits on defenseless receivers. As Griffin makes clear, though, the fear of losing that money every week will not be enough to keep some players from altering their style. If they feel a change will impact their employment, they’ll risk losing one week’s pay before jeopardizing their spot on the roster.

17 responses to “Michael Griffin won’t change playing style because “you lose money regardless”

  1. Defenders really are in a kind of bad spot with this. Even if they are consistent about only hitting players in that knees-to-shoulders “strike zone”, the ball carrier/receiver can twist, move, duck their head, etc. and cause an illegal hit through no fault of the defender. Just like defenders use their helmet and pads as weapons, so to do offensive players user theirs as a shield; curling in instinctively to allow their armor to absorb the impact. It’s really a no-win situation for the defender, especially since officials have had their discretion removed on throwing the flag when a helmet-to-helmet hit clearly wasn’t intentional.

  2. He has a point. Maybe the league should take a percentage of each week’s fines and award it to a player who makes a good clean legal hit.

  3. Do the players get to write off the fines since they go to charity or does the NFL?? My guess is the NFL gets that writeoff…

    Seems like that might be a conflict of interest if you ask me.

  4. Not only does he have a point but young developing players will be less and less likely to want to play defesne. It’s bad enough with all the glory that comes along with being an offensive player now, but getting paid more and getting fined for non-flagarant hits is going to result it “video-game numbers” meaning holding a team to under 30 points.

  5. the players get to use the fines as tax write offs for business expenses

    and griffin has a point- im not sure why the NFL has just decided to give the offensive players free reign over their bodies while ONLY the defender is forced to make the split second judgement call while the offensive player is still moving and ducking into hits

    you already see WRs doing it, they catch the ball up high and immediately duck low in hopes of drawing helmet to helmet contact and a flag

  6. He’s got a point, and frankly the fines don’t outweigh even the minimum salaries. Should they ever be even, then the players would truly be in a no-win situation.

  7. I think the rules are ok (not great), but definitely needs some work on when the player ducks at the last minute. A lot of these play they are going after the defenders shoulders and the WR ducks at the last second.

    He’s right, teams won’t cut a guy for getting fined and being known as a tough guy, ask Ed Reed, Finnegan, Merryweather, etc.

  8. I think its interesting that there is a lot of push to “teach” defensive players on how not to do illegal hits but almost no effort from the NFL on stopping offensive players from causing some of these hits b/c they duck into them a lot (see Brees, Drew on the hit against SF). Its almost like they’re looking for the benefit of getting hit b/c that’s their job damn the future consequences.

  9. What defensive players are being asked to do is close to shooting a rabbit while riding a horse full gallop, but nobody stands up to the owners against this disparity because this is not fair by a longshot

  10. Odd. There are a few hundred other defensive backs in the league who don’t seem to constantly get flagged for hitting defenseless receivers.

  11. The NFL is trying to protect themselves from being sued in the future because of concussions? How about you just put a disclaimer when a player comes into the league about the repercussions from playing football, have them sign it and just do your best to protect players when they do have concussions ..

    The players know what they are getting into these days, yes, 30 years ago that wasn’t too clear because of the lack of research.. but that is not the case anymore. Do you think that construction guys dont know that they could die any time on some accident at a job? Do you think that contruction companies will just say.. “ill fine you if do this or do that” or what about the military who btw dont make millions to go to war and possibly die.. “we’ll fine someone if u get killed .. dont worry about it”

    c’mon.. this are grown men! let them play football!

  12. I was actually kind of psyched he got suspended so George Wilson could play more. And I don’t feel that sympathetic because I think Griffin’s been grossly overpaid ever since he signed that head-scratcher of a contract extension the Titans gave him. At least some of the money is going to charity now.

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