Jets safety pays price for Boldin hit

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Cardinals got their wish when the NFL sent a strong message to Eric Smith and other players by fining and suspending the Jets safety for his hit on Anquan Boldin in Week 3.

Smith's punishment includes a one-game suspension and $50,000 fine. The fine amount includes the $26,176 in salary Smith would have earned by playing in Week 5.

The league called Smith's hit a "flagrant" violation of rules, which means referee Scott Green and crew blew a significant call when they failed to penalize the Jets for the hit.

Officials did point out that Arizona would not be charged a timeout for suffering an injury in the final 2 minutes when a team has no timeouts remaining. The Jets were charged their third and final timeout of the half because Smith was also injured on the play.

Smith's intent was not the issue here. The issue was whether he led with his helmet. That made this a pretty straightforward call in the league's eyes.