Jermichael Finley was not pleased to discover this week he’d been fined $15,750 for unnecessarily striking a defense player in the head and neck area during Sunday’s 19-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
On Friday, the Green Bay Packers sixth-year tight end and his agent, Blake Baratz, let the NFL hear about it.
The incident in question occurred off a Johnathan Franklin draw play on a third-and-1 play at the end of the first quarter. Finley motioned from the outside and quickly leveled Baltimore Terrell Suggs off the snap of the ball.
At first glance, it looked like a clean block that caught Suggs by surprise, but that was the heart of the issue. Since Finley motioned in and Suggs didn’t account for him, the league ruled Suggs a defenseless player protected from a crack-back block, which occurs when an offensive player starts out wide and comes in to block a defender who is unaware of his presence.
Finley wasn’t flagged, though a league official confirmed he could’ve been for unnecessary roughness. Suggs never retaliated.
Finley addressed the hit in the locker room on Friday, adding that he plans to appeal.
"Oh yeah, for sure," Finley said. "I really don’t care about it, but just the fact that if was a play where I was trying to do it, I’d take the fine, but I won’t take it."
Later that afternoon, he and Baratz each took to Twitter to vent their frustration.
"Thanks To @NFL For The Fine For Playing Football," Finley tweeted, which was quickly followed by Baratz adding: “Fine 4 @JermichaelF88 is a joke. Gr8 LEGAL block. AND @nfl please stop pretending that thousands of $'s r pennies. Some of us value a dollar.”
On the contrary, Baltimore safety Matt Elam was not fined by the NFL for his low hit in the second quarter on Packers receiver Randall Cobb, who fractured his fibula on the play and is out until at least Week 15 after being placed on injured reserve with designation to return.
Cobb’s injury led to a small war of words between Elam, Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who called Elam’s actions “questionable” in his post-game news conference.
Earlier this week, Finley voiced his concern about defensive players going low on receivers given the league’s emphasis on concussions and player safety.
“Like I always said, I’d rather take a head injury, broken rib or something like that than a knee,” said Finley on Wednesday. “I would think they need to move the target up a little, man. Guys are diving too much at the legs.”
Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang also wasn’t fined for drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty.