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Seahawks' Chancellor vindicated on hit

The NFL levied a $15,000 fine against Seattle's Red Bryant and a $10,000 fine against St. Louis' Darian Stewart for actions deemed against the rules in Week 7.

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, having already escaped a fine for a huge hit on Arizona's Todd Heap in Week 3, escaped a fine for the hit he put on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy last week.

The league reviews personal fouls and generally levies fines when calls are deemed correct. I read the absence of a fine for a personal-foul penalty as vindication for the player.

Referee Mike Carey had flagged Chancellor for dipping his helmet and striking McCoy in the back Sunday. The Seahawks strongly disagreed with the call. Replays showed Chancellor lowering his head, but also delivering only a glancing and seemingly inconsequential blow with his helmet. The hit never would have drawn scrutiny years ago, in my view, but stronger emphasis on player safety has led officials to err on the side of penalizing borderline hits.

Officials had flagged Chancellor for a blindside block on Heap during an interception return. That block was delivered within the rules because Chancellor did not strike Heap in the head or neck area.

Bryant's fine was obviously justified after the defensive end head-butted Browns tight end Alex Smith in frustration as the Seahawks were about to lose, 6-3. Stewart's fine stemmed from striking Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin in the head/neck area.