The fine, reportedly for $7,500, likely would have been the same whether or not Okung was injured. The amount is consistent with first-time offenses for late hits, chop blocks and the like, as spelled out in the chart.
The NFL, per its labor agreement, reserves the right to levy larger fines.
Officials did not penalize Cole for throwing Okung to the ground after Okung blocked Cole through the whistle during Seattle's 31-14 victory Thursday night.
The fine amount suggests the NFL was more concerned with the letter of the law than with liability. The blatant, unnecessary nature of Cole's attack on Okung might have justified a larger fine, in my view. But from Cole's perspective, Okung invited a strong reaction by failing to release Cole even though the play was ending and the whistle was starting to blow.
"The guy was on my back after the whistle," Cole said. "He was holding me the whole game. If you look at it, he had me hooked and you see me after trying to get off of him before it happened; you see me trying to wiggle and trying to get off of him, but he wouldn’t let me go.
"My intention was not to hurt that man. I never had any intentions to hurt him. I don’t wish nothing upon no player. I’m not a dirty player."