Burfict was punished for lowering his head against running back James Conner and hitting his forearm on the helmet of Antonio Brown, even though neither hit drew a flag during the game. The NFL decided to punish Burfict anyways, although they deemed a suspension was not necessary. That said, the NFL did warn him that he’ll be suspended next time something of this nature occurs.
According to reports, Bengals owner Mike Brown was not happy about the league’s handling of the situation.
“[Mike] Brown called the fine unfair and excessive,” Mike Florio reported. “He accused the league of improperly imposing discipline in situations where no fouls were called.”
Ian Rapoport added that Burfict will appeal his fine and that the Bengals are “furious.”
But that’s not all Brown is upset about.
The Bengals owner also said that he has a significant disagreement with the league office on making the game safer, and that he believes the league’s current approach hurts the game and makes it less attractive to fans.”
While the NFL is trying to make the league safer for its players, Brown claims that the league is inconsistently with doling out punishments and hurting the game. (We’d agree.)
The main point of contention on this issue (though not necessarily Brown’s issue) is the league-wide criticism of the new roughing the passer penalty, which has many saying that the new rule is making the game increasingly unpopular. But Brown posits that unfairly handing out fines is making it hard for him to run his team.
It does seem that the league often over-corrects when it comes to Burfict, but we’ll see if Brown brings his concerns forward during owners meetings later this year and next . offseason.