NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday notified all 32 teams that increased discipline -- including possible first-offense suspension-- will be imposed on players that author illegal hits to the head or neck of an opposing player.

 

Goodell sent a memo to each team, which was accompanied by a message and video to players and coaches. The head coach has been instructed to show the video and read the message to his team as quickly as possible. The video includes examples of both legal and illegal hits under current NFL rules.

 

Speaking with Peter King and Ross Tucker on Sirius NFL Radio Wednesday, Rodney Harrison discussed a conversation he had with Brandon Meriweather following the safety's hit on Todd Heap. Meriweather was fined $50,000 by the NFL for the helmet-to-helmet collision.

 

"I asked Brandon, ‘If the NFL fines you a great deal of money or they suspend you, will this change the way you play?' He told me absolutely,” said Harrison. "That’s the message the NFL is sending and I think a lot of players will echo that same sentiment."

 

FOXBORO -- Reacting to the whirlwind of controversy in the NFL over helmet-to-helmet and head shots and the league's swift reaction, Tom Brady said Wednesday that the league and its players are trying to walk a fine line. His teammate Brandon Meriweather was fined $50,000 for his hit on Baltimore's Todd Heap while Pittsburgh's James Harrison was fined $75,000 and says he's considering retirement because the league is overreacting. 

 

FOXBORO -- Julian Edelman, Fred Taylor and Jarrad Page were all missing from the open portion of Patriots practice on Wednesday as the team began on-field preparations for the San Diego Chargers this Sunday in Southern California.

 

FOXBORO - Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather spoke to the media Wednesday, a day after he was fined $50,000 by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap. Meriweather struggled to keep his emotion in check as he issued a statement from his locker. He did not take any questions from the media on the subject.

 

It just wouldn’t be the NFL season without a raging firestorm of controversy.



JERRY THORNTON

BIO | ARCHIVE


Five quick thoughts on the NFL's decision Tuesday to fine -- and not suspend -- Brandon Meriweather $50,000 for his hit on Todd Heap on Sunday. 



KIRK MINIHANE

BIO | ARCHIVE


Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather will be fined $50,000 for his two helmet-to-helmet hits to Baltimore tight end Todd Heap but won’t be suspended, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

The news was first reported by ESPN.

Meriweather’s two hits, which took place during Sunday’s win over the Ravens, drew the attention of league executives earlier in the week, with NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, telling ESPN Radio the hit was “flagrant” and “egregious.”

Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien acknowledged Tuesday that he and Randy Moss were involved in an incident shortly before Moss was dealt to Minnesota earlier this month.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, O’Brien — who is listed on the company masthead as the quarterbacks coach, but has served as the de facto offensive coordinator for much of the last two seasons — said something did happen after the Patriots-Dolphins game, a contest where Moss finished with no catches for the only time in his three-plus years.

In a Tuesday afternoon conference call, Patriots coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t speculate about what the future holds for safety Brandon Meriweather, who could face a fine or suspension for his hit on Baltimore’s Todd Heap over the weekend.