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Sheldon Richardson: Fine for hit on Drew Stanton equates to ‘extortion’

Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was fined $18,231 for a low hit on Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton, and he’s not happy about it.

Per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, Richardson says he’s appealed the fine and called it “extortion.”

“It’s kind of just extortion really,’’ Richardson said Friday. “Guy pushes you in the back and trips you on the play and you are catching your balance the whole time and then you just happen, I don’t know. They said ‘avoid him,’ but he still has the ball. It’s like what do you do?’’

Richardson didn’t stop there, either. He went on to say he doesn’t even believe the NFL really reviews these plays thoroughly.

“There is no way you should be taking any of my money because it wasn’t a dirty hit,’’ Richardson said. “I didn’t try to hit him in the legs or nothing and once again people fail to realize it’s still football. Pretty sure they are just fining guys for every personal foul and not even looking at the film and not even making the consideration of did I try to avoid the guy.’’

While the accusation of “not even looking at the film” is a bit far-fetched here, Richardson does have a point. But it’s unfortunately (for him) a moot point in today’s NFL. Quarterbacks are going to get the benefit of doubt every time, and the rules are very specific about low hits.

They’re also specific about hits to the neck/head region. And in the same game, Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby was flagged for a personal foul (and fined the same amount as Richardson) when he hit Russell Wilson in the jaw region — a hit that almost broke Wilson’s jaw.