Matt Birk wins appeal of $5,000 fine

Baltimore Ravens six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk won his appeal of a $5,000 fine for removing his microphone against the New York Jets, according to his agent, Joe Linta. Linta confirmed via a text message that Birk's appeal was successful. Birk said the microphone was jutting against his neck, so he took it off prior to the Ravens' 34-17 win over the New York Jets.

NFL rules require centers or guards to wear microphones.

"I understand the rules," Birk said after being fined. "It's clear now. The center is miked up for games. I've worn a microphone before. When I went out for warmups, the microphone came loose and was jabbing my neck. It was tucked in there pretty tight. I couldn't get it, so I just took it off. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do that."

Birk said it was hard to say if any competitive advantage could be gained from teams listening to what a center says.

"I don't know," Birk said. "I've never tried to listen to another teams' calls. A lot of the calls are the same. The coaches move all around, a lot of the calls are the same. I think it's just a misunderstanding. I've never been fined for taking a microphone off. It's a new thing this year with the new CBA. I'm not going to get up here on my soapbox.

"It's a misunderstanding. It's not like I ripped it off because I just didn't want to wear it. I'll appeal it and wait for the final verdict. I will tell them I have my sixth kid on the way. I need all my money for diapers and Cheerios."

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