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Disciplinary Action

Will Flozell Adams’ 3rd trip in 3 weeks mean 3rd consecutive fine this season?



Cowboys offensive tackle in a 2007 file photo. (Credit: texas_mustang, Flickr)

Cowboys offensive tackle Flozell Adams in a 2007 file photo. (Credit: texas_mustang, Flickr)

Cowboys offensive tackle Flozell Adams may be fined for a third consecutive week in the three-week-old 2009 season—which, we believe, would be unprecedented. To date, Adams was fined $5,000 in the season opener for helmet contact against the Buccaneers. In the Week 2 Sunday Night Football game, Adams administered two leg whips, one of which knocked the Giants’ Justin Tuck to the ground, injuring Tuck’s shoulder. Adams was fined $12,500 for the flagrant personal fouls (the second one, which caused no injury, was not flagged).

Big Blue Interactive (on their message board, bonus: with video) points to a third instance where Adams tripped a Carolina Panthers defensive lineman, which was again not flagged by the crew. It is very subtle and away from the play, which is why it did not attract a yellow handkerchief.

Will the league garnish Adams’ pay for a third consecutive week? It should not the fact that the trip wound up being harmless, but that this is a repeat of a fined behavior from the previous week. But, for flagrant personal fouls, the league fine schedule merely states, “suspension or fine; severity to be determined by degree of violation; the fine may be $10,000 or higher for first offense.” So the league, using the injury to Tuck as reason to fine more, may have trouble assessing a fine under the criteria of “degree of violation.”

Update 9/30/09: The league dropped the fine hammer today, according to Todd Archer at The Dallas Morning News, to the tune of $7,500. That is $25,000 for three weeks—which is less than 10% of his weekly gross.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)