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Friday, October 18, 2013
Packers' Finley not happy with $15,750 fine

By Rob Demovsky

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A cynic might say this is why Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley doesn’t always appear to be an overly willing blocker.

On Friday, the NFL confirmed Finley was fined $15,750 for “unnecessarily striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area” in Sunday’s 19-17 win at the Baltimore Ravens.

Finley said he planned to appeal the fine, which was for a block against Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs on a running play late in the first quarter.

On the play, a toss to the right to running back Johnathan Franklin (who was stuffed for a 3-yard loss), Finley motioned next to right tackle Don Barclay just before the snap. As soon as the ball was snapped, Finley leveled Suggs with his left shoulder.

“I really don’t care about it, but just the fact that if it was a play where I was trying to do it, I’d take the fine,” Finley said. “But I won’t take it.”

Shortly after Finley’s comments to the media on Friday, he tweeted:

Thanks To @NFL For The Fine For Playing Football.

— Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88) October 18, 2013


Later on Friday, Finley's agent, Blake Baratz, tweeted:

Fine 4 @JermichaelF88 is a joke. Gr8 LEGAL block. AND @nfl please stop pretending that thousands of $'s r pennies. Some of us value a dollar

— Blake Baratz (@blakebaratz) October 18, 2013


An NFL spokesman, in an email to ESPN.com, said Finley was fined because he violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 (a) (9). That rule states: “It is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture … players in a defenseless posture are … a player who is protected from an illegal crackback block.”

The crackback portion of the rule was added for the 2012 season.

That was believed to be the only fine from the game. An NFL spokesman said Ravens safety Matt Elam was not fined for the low hit that fractured Randall Cobb’s fibula in his right leg. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers confronted Elam after the play, and then guard T.J. Lang intervened and was given a penalty for unnecessary roughness after he shoved Elam. Lang also was not fined.

“I just felt like, from my vantage point, he had plenty of time to not take out a guy’s legs in that situation,” Rodgers said after the game. “I think he could have hit in the proper hitting zone, and that’s what I told him.”