Ndamukong Suh is no stranger to fines. Especially those that result from an attack on an opposing quarterback’s head. But even Suh’s most recent fine has everyone just a little perplexed.
Suh’s hit on Bengals QB Andy Dalton in Friday’s preseason opener resulted in a 15-yard penalty and a lot of speculation that he would be hit with his third fine in his short NFL career. Today, the NFL held up its end of the bargain by fining Suh $20,000. He has previously been fined $7,500 for his hit last year on Jake Delhomme and $15,000 for his hit on Jay Cutler.
Those fines, although a little steep, were mildly understandable. But $20,000? Please. Suh had a similar reaction:
Big fail is right. Instead of punshing Suh for Friday’s hit and Friday’s hit alone, they’re punishing him for the reputation he’s creating for himself. Newsflash, guys: It’s not going to stop him. And it shouldn’t.
“I’m never going to put myself in a situation where I can allow a play to affect my team because I didn’t follow through on my job,” Suh said. “So I’m not going to stop playing hard. Like I said before, I owe it to my fans, I owe it to my teammates, I owe it to the coaches, and I owe it to the fans, first and foremost. That’s the reason why they watch the game. It’s one of the reasons football is football, ’cause it’s physical contract, aggression that is made exciting.”
Shortly after the fine was announced, Suh confirmed that he would be appealing it. As he should. Though, like the last two, I doubt it will get him anywhere.
I realize the NFL is trying take a more firm stance on safety, and I’m certainly not saying that things like this should go unpunished, but let’s remember for a second that this is football. And one of Suh’s primary jobs is to find the QB on a pass play. Like Jim Schwartz said after the game last week, it’s hard for someone like Suh to fully know whether or not the QB has released the ball. Is he supposed to not complete the tackle simple because he’s afraid he might get penalized for it? Hell no. And he shouldn’t be expected to.
Those plays are dangerous. This isn’t golf, folks. It’s football. You put your body in harm’s way on every down and in every quarter. If you want to give Suh a 15-yard penalty every time he does that, fine. But the hit on Dalton was undeserving of the fine it got.
Regardless, I imagine Suh will continue doing what he does best. Destroying the Jay Cutler’s and the Andy Dalton’s of the National Football League. And I’m pretty sure he’s going to enjoy every minute of it.