Why Brooks' fine exceeded one for Cole

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
5:12
PM ET
Two NFL fines against NFC West players from Week 13 raise questions in relation to previous ones.

@kylekinzie read my tweet about the $15,000 fine against the San Francisco 49ers' Ahmad Brooks' for roughing the passer and wondered why that fine doubled what the league assessed against Philadelphia's Trent Cole.

A couple reasons come to mind.

One, Brooks was previously fined $10,000 for a 2010 hit on Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton. That fine, like this one, was for hitting a quarterback in the head/neck area. Fines escalate with each new offense. That explains why this fine against Brooks was so substantial. Two, the $7,500 fine against Cole was for throwing Seattle's Russell Okung to the ground, not for the season-ending injury Okung suffered in the process.

Separately, the league fined St. Louis Rams running back Jerious Norwood $7,500 for a chop block against the 49ers' Parys Haralson. The NFL had not fined the 49ers' Frank Gore for the chop block committed against Baltimore earlier in the season. Norwood's actions were more consistent with those the league wants to eliminate. Gore committed a chop block only in the technical sense; at no point did his actions put an opposing player at heightened risk.

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