The NFL is not expected to come down hard on the Denver Broncos for their flagrant head hunting of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton. ESPN is reporting that the typical fines are expected from the NFL later today.
Source: no excessive fines considered for Brandon Marshall, Derian Stewart for head shots to Cam Newton. Expecting fine schedule followed
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) September 14, 2016
Of course, we know typical fines don’t mean much in this day and age of the NFL. Yesterday, Ryan Kalil confirmed that many NFL players don’t actually care about getting fined.
“A lot of guys don’t care about fines” Kalil said. “If they can win, and what they did can help the team win, I would argue they really don’t care about fines. So fines is not what is going to do it. It is making sure that these kinds of actions get penalties for them. ”
By the NFL not coming down harder, they signal to the league that head shots to Cam Newton are nothing more than business as usual. This may lead to other NFL teams using the concussion protocol as a sort of 12th man, taking a player out of the game while under observation. What was originally meant to be player protection, could actually make the game more dangerous for marquee players like Cam Newton.
It is unfortunate that the NFL has chosen to turn the page on this issue without making a further example of the Broncos head hunting.