I think this is a shame.
Ed Reed has been a model player in the NFL for years on end and I've never seen him as a dirty player.
The league came out and said that after his hit last night, he's suspended 1 game without pay. That's 400K.
They cite a hit on Brees in 2010, a hit on Deion Branch in Week 3 of this year and last nights hit as the reason for suspension.
Pretty lame, IMO.
Here's the NFL's statement regarding James Harrison's suspension.
Harrison was penalized for roughing the passer in last Thursday night’s Steelers-Browns game for an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit against a defenseless quarterback, Cleveland’s COLT MC COY. In addition to four fines for illegal hits against quarterbacks in 2009 and 2010, Harrison also was fined twice for unnecessary roughness during that period. Harrison totaled six fines in that two-year period.
So prior to the hit on Colt McCoy, James Harrison tallied 6 other fines for hits on QBs and unnecessary roughness?
It took a total of 7 incidents over 3 years to finally draw the suspension?
While I was a little turned off by the hit on McCoy because McCoy was scrambling, out of the pocket and should have been defined as a runner, Harrison did go up high on a player who by definition would be defenseless. I wonder if the flag comes if he doesn't make helmet contact.......shouldn't.
Anyway I think it's ridiculous that James Harrison, having the reputation that he does, can get away with 6 total fines before finally getting suspended.
Ed Reed a guy who I've never thought of as an intentionally dirty player gets suspended after just three. I've seen the hits and none look all that terrible. He goes up high on Brees with a forearm which should be flagged but it looks like hes taking a swat at the ball in the process. On Branch, he's aimed a little high but Branch ducks into it a bit. Last night, Sanders caught it and got his head around enough to see the hit coming and braced for it.
These hits are nowhere near as bad as the McCoy hit or a couple of the other hits that Harrison laid on people where he basically was head hunting, such as the Massaquoi hit.
I myself was wondering if it was because of the differences in years and the emphasis growing over time but Harrison should be suspended from this point forward for every single illegal hit according to this.
The 2011 League Policies for Players manual states: “Players who were fined for violations in 2009 or 2010, and whose fines were either partially or fully upheld, will be considered second and/or repeat offenders under this policy.”
Sure, you can't suspended prior to putting this policy in place if you don't count those hits as repeats but afterward, he's a 7 time repeat violator of the rule. Any hit from here on out should be a games check.
I haven't had much gripe about punishments handed out to players but this one just rubs me raw. Ed Reed is one of the players I like to watch whenever I get the chance because he's a special player. He plays the game with as much passion as any player on the field and I can't say I've seen anything that would make me believe he intentionally tries to hurt people.
James Harrison is the complete opposite and it took twice as many hits to get him on the bench.