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NFL's decision to fine Richard Sherman tough to explain

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Criticism levied against Richard Sherman different than in the past (0:47)

ESPN Seahawks reporter Sheil Kapadia offers context to explain the comments made by Bills kicker Dan Carpenter's wife about Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. (0:47)

RENTON, Wash. -- This week, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman tried to further explain why he feels he did nothing wrong when he collided with Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter at the end of the first half Monday night.

But Sherman confirmed Thursday that the league has fined him $9,115 for his hit.

During the game, Sherman was flagged for offsides on Carpenter's field-goal attempt. NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said later that Sherman should have been flagged for unnecessary roughness.

But the league's explanation is confusing for a couple different reasons.

1. The officials didn't blow the whistle until after the collision.

This is clear from the replay. A full two seconds passed between when Sherman jumped offsides and when the whistle was finally blown. That means the play remained live when the collision occurred.

Yet Sherman said the letter from the league stated specifically that the fine was because he hit Carpenter after the whistle.

"They made sure that they made it unappealable because they said they can’t hear the whistle on the film, and they said I hit him after the whistle, which was not true," Sherman said. "But you can’t really appeal something that’s he said/she said."

Replays showed that the Bills viewed it the same way Sherman did as they continued with the field-goal attempt. Had Sherman let up and Carpenter made the kick, the field goal would have been good.

During an appearance on the "Brock and Salk" show on 710 ESPN Seattle, former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira made this point.

"What did Richard Sherman do wrong other than being offsides?" Pereira said, adding that he disagrees with Blandino on whether unnecessary roughness should have been called. "There’s no whistle until after he made the contact."

Had the officials blown the whistle and Sherman still followed through with his hit on Carpenter, then it would have been an easy flag. But both sides were still playing the play out, similar to how a quarterback takes a shot deep when he knows the defense is offsides.

2. Sherman got his hand on the football.

The actual collision was awkward because Sherman got to the ball before Carpenter did.

But replays showed he clearly got his hand on the ball:

"Usually we don’t run into the kicker because the ball is already kicked," Sherman said. "When the ball is still on the ground, there’s no other way to get there but to go at that angle. People are like, ‘What is that angle that you were going at? You were trying to hurt the kicker.’ No, there’s no other angle."

This part seems moot because Sherman said the fine was only for hitting Carpenter after the whistle. But it's still worth noting.

"The league responds to public pressure on a number of issues, and they’ve shown the ability to fold under public pressure," Sherman said. "This is just another one of those opportunities. The public sees things in slow-motion, super-slow-motion so the league feels a reason to try to justify things."

In this case, the slow-motion replays should have helped Sherman. They show the whistle blew after the collision and that he got his hand on the football.

But he'll have to pay a $9,115 fine anyway.