Lance Briggs broke the news via Twitter. The league fined Chicago Bears linebacker $21k for his hit on San Diego Chargers wide receiver Mike Willie. Bostic made a highlight reel hit as Willie came across the middle early in the second half of the Bears’ game vs the Chargers last Thursday.
Here’s the hit in case you missed it:
You even get ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer describe the hit as a form tackle as it happened in the replay. The hit appears to be a perfect form tackle, but word from the NFL is that Bostic was in violation of NFL Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 (b) (2): Lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 21, 2013
You can debate the merits of the hit or the fine until the cows come home. As Bears fans, we’re naturally slanted towards our guy. If Brandon Marshall had been on the receiving end of the hit, we’d be calling for fines and even a suspension. That’s not where the hypocrisy lies. It lies in the fact that the NFL called the hit “spectacular” in the highlight reel:
The NFL can’t have it both ways. They can’t label it as a spectacular tackle on the one hand and turn around and reach out for a $21k fine with the other. They can’t profit from the added publicity and page clicks of the hit and turn around and punish him for doing it.
I get that the NFL is trying to send a message to a high profile rookie early in the season. Too bad the message is “we’re a bunch of hypocrites.”