You probably saw the hit Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh put on Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton last Friday. In the course of the takedown, Dalton's helmet came off and officials called a 15-yard penalty.
That's all we know for a fact at this moment. The NFL reviews all plays for possible postgame discipline, of course. Did Suh get fined? There has been no confirmation. I can, however, pass along what Suh posted on his official Twitter account at about noon ET:
If the NFL did in fact fine Suh $20,000 for the play, you can attribute it mostly to his third offense and not the severity of the hit. Last year, Suh blatantly ripped off the helmet of Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme in a preseason game and was fined $7,500. Suh’s hit on Dalton was probably worth a penalty but wasn’t nearly as vicious as the Delhomme near-decapitation. (The NFL also fined Suh $15,000 for hit to the back of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler last year.)
Fair or not, all defensive players should be aware that the NFL's emphasis on player safety will empower it to ring up huge fines on a weekly basis if it so chooses. I don't know what effect, if any, it will have on the game. But a few wallets are going to be a little lighter. More to come ...