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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Ahmad Brooks' fine is excessive

By Bill Williamson


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- On Tuesday, I wrote about the NFL’s issue on whether to fine San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks for a controversial -- and game-changing -- hit on New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the NFL fined Brooks $15,750 for the hit.

During Sunday's game, the 49ers appeared to get the ball on a turnover with about three minutes to go, but Brooks was called for a personal foul for a hit to Brees' neck. It was a questionable call because it appeared Brooks hit Brees' shoulder more than neck. The 15-yard penalty gave the Saints new life, as New Orleans finished the drive with a game-tying field goal with 2:06 to go.

Brooks
The fine was expected but nearly $16,000 seems excessive. That hit was anything out of the ordinary. The fine should have been less than half of what it is, in my opinion. I get the reason. There is a fine schedule. But the league could have cut the guy a break.

It seems to me the league levied the hefty fine to back itself. The message? See, the infraction was serious.

What did we expect? The league was going to fine Brooks. If it hadn't, it would have come off as admitting the ref made a mistake by calling a penalty in the first place. That wasn’t going to happen. The NFL has been saying all week it was the right call. And fines always accompany penalties where a quarterback gets hit.

So, the league was being consistent. That’s why I knew the fine was coming. But almost 16 grand? Come on.

Don’t expect this to go away quietly. ESPN analysts and former NFL linebackers Ray Lewis and Tedy Bruschi vowed on the air to help Brooks with the fine. I doubt they will let it go away.

The bottom line? The NFL made its decision and too much money will be paid by someone.