Teams Will Be Fined When Their Players Repeatedly Violate Safety Rules

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 03: Safety Chinedum Ndukwe #41 of the Cincinnati Bengals breaks up a pass to tight end Benjamin Watson #82 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 3 2010 in Cleveland Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Right now, the Rooney family is staring at their savings account knowing that once James Harrison takes the field in 2011, their money will begin to fly out of their hands and into the hands of the NFL.

The NFL decided Tuesday that they will not only fine the individual player who launches his helmet into a quarterback's facemask, but they will fine the organization that player plays for if he does it enough (and by "does it," I mean actually hitting somebody like they were taught to). 

According to Geoff Hobson, a few Bengals players were fined in the 2010 season, including Pat Sims, who was fined $5,000 for a roughing the passer call against Jimmy Clausen on Sept. 26, Dhani Jones, who was fined $15,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Colt McCoy on Dec. 19, and Chinedum Ndukwe, who was fined for breaking up a pass against the Browns during their 23-20 loss. Ndukwe actually later appealed his fine and won.

Obviously none of the Bengals defensive players make illegal contact like Harrison, who was fined a league high $100,000, does.

NFL Competition Committee Rick McKay believes this is best for the future of the NFL and its players, especially the quarterbacks.

*This will permanently change the mentality of the defensive back trying separate the ball," said NFL competition committee chairman Rich McKay. "You have to lower your import and that import has to be at the numbers or below as opposed to above because you have to give that receiver time to defend himself."

"We came down to a standard of movement that if the quarterback's head moves from a blow by a defensive player, it’s a penalty," McKay said. "There were a number of plays on video that I don't think any of us were comfortable that they could be fouls. So we inserted the word 'forcible.' The contact to the quarterback's head has to be forcible. We had that in the rulebook already … we're putting it on the referee, but we think we've got good enough video so the referee knows what we want called."

Mike Zimmer decided not to say whether or not he agrees with the new rules (I'd like to think that he hates them), but he will teach his players to abide by them. 

"I know we'll coach the heck out of it," he said. "We'll adjust."

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