The NFL announced earlier this week that it wasn't going to suspend Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for his Thanksgiving kick on Matt Schaub. It also announced that a fine was still possible, and the league decided to dock Suh $30,000 on Wednesday for the kick, according to Anwar Richardson.
I'm not surprised in the least that Suh was fined, but I find it to be pretty ridiculous. If there wasn't enough evidence to suspend him, then why was there enough evidence to fine him? Roger Goodell himself admitted that the NFL was struggling to determine the intent, but the league fined Suh yet again anyway.
In three years, Suh's been fined a total of $77,500. Two game suspension last year cost him $165,647. Grand total: $243,147— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) November 28, 2012
On Wednesday, before news of the fine came out, Suh spoke with the media for the first time about the kick and said it was inadvertent. In fact, he claimed he didn't even realize anything happened until after the game when he got on Twitter. He also said this:
More Suh: "... Other than that, I can’t do much more about it. I was being dragged to the ground and my foot inadvertently hit the man."— Carlos Monarrez (@cmonarrez) November 28, 2012
This is my biggest problem with the fine. It's one thing if you thought Suh intentionally kicked Schaub, but the lack of a suspension indicates that the league couldn't find any evidence of that. I'm guessing the fine was for Suh putting himself in a situation where he could "inadvertently" make contact with Schaub's groin, but like Suh said, he was pulled to the ground. If the lineman doesn't drag him down, Suh isn't in that position to begin with, so how can you give him a fine for that?
In other news, the traffic ticket Suh got earlier this month will in fact stand, meaning he either has to pay the fine for it or fight it. Suh's only comment on the ticket on Wednesday was that he agreed with the Lathrup police chief's thoughts on it -- that the ticket for driving without due care and caution was excessive.