Ravens' Jameel McClain has fine reduced

The NFL has reduced Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Jameel McClain's $40,000 fine to $20,000 following an appeal, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. McClain was fined during the regular season for his concussion-causing hit on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller.

The letter that McClain received from the league office said he was fined for unnecessary roughness for hitting a defenseless receiver "Rules are rules," McClain said at the time of the fine. "We will appeal it. Nobody's out there trying to hurt anyone." "He's working for free for a couple of weeks," veteran Ravens nose guard Kelly Gregg said. "I saw him last night at Food Lion. I thought he was shopping, but he was working trying to pay that fine.'

McClain emphasized that he wasn't trying to hurt anyone. "He still had a way to get to the ball," McClain said. "I was trying to get between him and the ball. It's a man trying to make a play. I was in the strike zone. I was playing the way I was taught to play.' The hefty fine represented a fairly big chunk of McClain's $470,000 salary and was more than his $26,647 weekly game check. "I was shocked," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in December. "He's a first-time offender. Jameel,there was nothing he can do. I think the league understands that. I can't imagine why they fined him so much.

"Jameel tried to go low. He did everything humanly possible to hit the tight end low. You fine a guy $40,000 for trying to apply the rule. He tried to do something that's against the rule of physics. I say you're taking someone's money unfairly."

McClain finished third on the team with 91 tackles last season, recording one sack and one forced fumble. The 6-foot-1, 250-pounder started 15 games last season and was assigned a second-round restricted free agent tender. In an AFC wild-card playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs, McClain led the Ravens with six tackles. That included four solo tackles.

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