The NFL surprisingly fined New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady $10,000 for unnecessary roughness in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, a source told The NFL Network. The discipline stems from Brady raising his right leg while sliding, as he hit Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed in his leg.
This was the league's way of showing defensive players that everyone can be disciplined. In most cases, it's defensive players who are fined for making contact with quarterbacks. Ravens safety Bernard Pollard brought up the double standard Monday, and this was the NFL's response to it.
But the amount of the fine essentially makes this more of a symbolic gesture. Brady's wife, Gisele, makes $10,000 for an hour of runway work (I wish I was making this up), so Brady will pay this fine with pocket change. In comparison, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was fined $10,000 last year just for calling his wife on the sideline to let her know he was fine after taking a shot to the head.
Still, this is significant because no one really expected the NFL to fine Brady. I thought the league would say it couldn't prove intent on the play. Plus, he's the quarterback that they make rules to protect. Just look up the Tuck Rule or the Brady Rule (defenders who are on the ground no longer can lunge at the quarterback's knees or lower). This is why Pollard called Brady the "pretty boy" and "the man of the NFL" before last year's AFC Championship Game.
So, this is a win for defensive players, albeit a small victory. The bigger triumph for the Ravens was watching the Patriots kick a field goal after that slide and shutting out Brady and New England the rest of the game.