The National Football League came down hard on Browns defensive tackle Gerard Warren, but it could have been worse.
Warren was fined $35,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell last Sunday. The fine was administered by Gene Washington, director of football operations for the NFL.
The fine was for both unnecessary contact with a passer after a change of possession and unnecessary roughness. The hit occurred after Brunell's shovel pass to Stacy Mack hit off Mack's leg and was intercepted by end Orpheus Roye.
In addition to the fine, NFL Commisssioner Paul Tagliabue has instructed Warren to met with him and Mike Pereeira, senior director of officiating, next Tuesday at NFL headquarters in New York City.
"We understand the message the league is trying to send and the goal that the commissioner is seeking to accomplish," Browns President Carmen Policy said. "We are in favor of any rule that perserves the health of the quarterbacks in this league."
Policy went on to say that he doesns't think Warren intentionally tried to injure Brunell.
Warren refused comments to the media during prior to practice on Thursday. He planned to address the issue after practice.