Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Report: Patriots' Wilfork to be fined for elbow to Broncos QB Cutler's head
NEW YORK -- New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork will be fined but not suspended by the NFL after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell about a hit on Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The Patriots nose tackle met Tuesday with Goodell and the commissioner decided to forgo a possible suspension. That's according to a person familiar with the case who asked for anonymity because there has been no official announcement.
The NFL declined comment, noting that fines and suspensions normally are announced on Fridays.
Wilfork was summoned before Goodell after the Broncos claimed tape of New England's 41-7 win Oct. 20 showed Wilfork elbowing Cutler in the helmet.
However, the tapes that were reviewed during the hearing did not show that clearly, upholding the Patriots' contention there was no intent to injure. They also showed Wilfork helping up Cutler and patting him on the back after the play.
Wilfork was fined a total of $35,000 last season for four different episodes. They included hits on Buffalo quarterback J.P. Losman and Dallas tight end Jason Witten. He also was fined for putting a finger inside the facemask of New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and grabbing the facemask of San Diego's Michael Turner during the AFC Championship Game.
Wilfork has played for the Patriots since being drafted in the first round out of Miami in 2004.
He said Wednesday that he didn't know what the outcome of the meeting would be, but felt the session was productive.
"I think both sides were happy," Wilfork said. "He got a chance to hear my side of my story of how I approach the game. I got a chance to hear what he had to say about the whole situation of my past history and playing football and all that good stuff. So I think we both left pretty happy."