Washington Redskins gunner Niles Paul was fined $20,000 by the NFL today for his hit on Austin Pettis of the St. Louis Rams this past weekend.
Now, I'm all for fines when players break rules and need to be punished. However, fining a guy for blowing up a defenseless punt returner should be a totally different thing.
|Photo by: Seth Periman|
So here's Niles Paul, blazing down the field, Austin Pettis' #18 in his cross hairs. Paul lowers his shoulder to hit Pettis in the chest and what does the punt returner do? He bends his knees, semi-squatting down to catch ball - making that target of #18 become Pettis' facemask.
$20,000 later, Niles Paul is the bad guy.
You can watch the video (so long as the NFL doesn't catch this on YouTube) here.
To the NFL, I say this: Fine Kenny Britt for getting arrested. Fine the guys getting DUIs. Fine players and coaches alike for criticizing the officials. But come on, don't fine a guy for playing hard. The last thing we need is someone getting hurt, but don't put this on Paul. Put it on Pettis for not calling a fair catch.