Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was fined $21,000 by the league for his hit on Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich last Thursday. According to the NFL, he “unnecessarily struck a defenseless player in the head and neck area.”
“Twenty-one thousand? I ain’t even got that,” said Rodgers-Cromartie as he came off the field, presumably joking. “I won’t hit ’em no more, I’ll tell you that much.”
The play in question occurred at the 1:12 mark of Thursday night’s game against Pittsburgh. Leftwich escaped pressure, rolled to his right and tried to find a receiver. Rodgers-Cromartie, who was in coverage, came running towards him, left his feet and launched himself at Leftwich, leading with his right shoulder.
Rodgers-Cromartie told Birds 24/7 that he thought it was a clean hit. He was then asked if he had any regrets about the play.
“Regrets? We’re playing football, man,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “The Bible said don’t live a life of regret.”
Chris Mortensen offered this up on Twitter shortly after the news of the fine came down.
“Rodgers-Cromartie’s fine isn’t sitting well with everyone around league. One prominent coach thought this would merit suspension.”
Peter King took a hard stance against Rodgers-Cromartie’s actions in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.
Goat of the Week: Philadelphia CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, for his irresponsible launching and shoulder/upper arm cheap shot of a defenseless Byron Leftwich, the Pittsburgh quarterback, in the preseason game at Philadelphia. Rodgers-Cromartie is in line for a significant fine — maybe six figures. I think it’s worthy of a suspension. That’s one of the most egregious hits I’ve seen in the league in the last couple of years — worse than James Harrison on Colt McCoy, because you could argue that Harrison thought McCoy was a runner when he lined him up to hit him. Rodgers-Cromartie launched himself in violation of a well-publicized rule, and then hit Leftwich in the head in violation of a well-publicized rule. Luckily, Leftwich walked away, seemingly fine. The next victim may not be so lucky.
“They couldn’t have thought (the hit commanded a six-figure fine),” said Rodgers-Cromartie. “How could you think that? He got up right from it. I say I left my feet, I can understand that, I can understand the fine coming. Six figures? Nah.”
Here’s a look at the video: