Polamalu fine for horse-collar seems harsh

September, 16, 2011
9/16/11
12:42
AM ET
If the report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is correct, the NFL's $15,000 fine of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu for a horse-collar tackle seems excessive.

Polamalu
Polamalu
Yes, a horse-collar tackle can potentially end a player's career. But many times, it's the result of a defender desperately trying to grab onto anything to bring down the ball-carrier.

"It definitely wasn't on purpose," Polamalu said of his third-quarter takedown of Ravens running back Ricky Williams. "I've never intentionally tried to horse collar anybody."

Polamalu isn't Roy Williams and doesn't have a history of making horse-collar tackles. The fine appears more excessive when you consider Packers cornerback Charles Woodson was just fined $10,000 for throwing a punch. That's $5,000 less than Polamalu, and Woodson's action was far from accidental.

In the past, the NFL has given out $7,500 fines for horse-collar tackles. Last year, quarterback Kevin Kolb received a $5,000 fine for a horse-collar tackle.

Perhaps Polamalu's fine is for a combination of actions and not solely for the horse-collar tackle. Polamalu got into a scuffle during the game with Ravens running back Ray Rice, and both players ended up on the ground.

The NFL announces its fines on Friday, so this matter should be cleared up in the afternoon.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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