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Disciplinary Action

NFL establishes 25-for-fighting standard: minimum fine, no benching for slugfest



Street brawls and cheap shots are about to become a bit more common in the NFL.

After banging each other under the hood, the NFL opted to fine habitual offender Cortland Finnegan of the Titans and repeat offender Andre Johnson $25,000 each — the league minimum for a second offense . Neither player will sit out next week’s game as was widely speculated.

Last week, the NFL assessed the same fine on the Raiders’ Richard Seymour for his sucker punch on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. This was a second offense for Seymour.

Finnegan was warned to watch his on-field roughness in Week 4 or that he would face a possible suspension. I suppose a suspension would be possible if Johnson’s detached head was still in the helmet when Finnegan threw it.

The league is sending a very clear message that this behavior will be lightly punished. Especially when the fine amounts to 5½ minutes of work.

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)