Panthers safety Sherrod Martin has been fined $40,000 today for a helmet-to-helmet hit he doled out in Sunday's game against Cleveland at the goal line.
I was in Cleveland, and Martin's hit was definitely illegal (although I don't think he did it on purpose). But the size of the fine is awfully large given that Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan and Houston's Andre Johnson were fined only $25,000 for engaging in a brief but full-scale fight Sunday which included ripping off each others' helmets and Johnson landing three punches to Finnegan's unprotected head.
That's just wrong. If you are going to give Martin a 40K fine -- and I understand he's a repeat offender, as he got fined $5,000 for another illegal hit in Week 1 -- then Finnegan and Johnson should have been suspended for a game apiece and lose the game check that goes along with it.
Martin is appealing the fine, as he should, although the way the NFL is cracking down on helmet-to-helmet hits I doubt that he'll get much mercy from the league. Finnegan and Johnson, though, should consider themselves extremely lucky, because what they did, to me, was worse.
Or, as Martin's Carolina teammate Tyrell Sutton colloquially put it in his Twitter account today: "Crazy tht Sherrod got a 40k fine for a hit n the middle of the game but Andre johnson and cortland finnegan got 25k each for a fite. Bogus"