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Redskins' Taylor fined $17K for spitting at Pittman

Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was fined $17,000 for spitting in the face of Michael Pittman during
Saturday's 17-10 wild-card win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The fine is equivalent to Taylor's game check for the wild-card game.

Taylor was ejected and penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for
spitting at Pittman in the third quarter of Saturday's playoff
game. The offense was considered so egregious that Pittman wasn't
penalized for slapping Taylor in the helmet in retaliation.

The amount of the fine is the playoff bonus each Redskins player
received for the first-round game, which the Redskins won 17-10.

Taylor escaped suspension for his action, keeping him on the
active roster for this week's game at Seattle.

"He's just a passionate player out there," right tackle Chris
Samuels said. "This upcoming game he'll be able to redeem himself.
I don't think he'll make that mistake again."

Taylor did not comment after the game, and Monday was a day off
for players. He has told teammates and coaches that he did not spit
at Pittman, and coach Joe Gibbs said a review of the video was
inconclusive.

"If that took place, we understand the penalties," Gibbs said.
"We understand somebody being taken out of the game. Sean is so
valuable to us. I had a long talk with him afterward, and he
understands that. He's all football. He wants to play. He's one of
our leaders. He's had an outstanding year. He's very valuable to
us. We can't afford to lose somebody like that."

Taylor has been fined several times in his two-year career for a
bevy of infractions, including $25,000 for skipping the league's
mandatory rookie symposium. He has several in-season fines for
illegal hits and uniform violations, including $5,000 for wearing
striped socks that resembled a barber pole in this year's home game
against Philadelphia.

He was investigated by the league last season for allegedly
spitting at Cincinnati receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but no fine
was levied because there was no video evidence.

Taylor also had a drunken driving charge last season that was
later dismissed. He is scheduled to go on trial next week in Miami
on a felony charge of aggravated assault stemming from a June 1
confrontation near his home, although he is expected to request a
postponement because of the Redskins' playoff run.

Taylor has been praised by coaches and teammates for taking a
more professional approach this season. He's also solidified his
role as the defense's best young player and hardest hitter. He has
returned a fumble for a touchdown in two straight games.

"He's turned his life around," defensive tackle
Cornelius Griffin said. "He's been a more positive guy. He's been a great
role model on the field."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.