Two days after Jared Allen said that the hit that injured Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was an unfortunate mistake, he was hit with a $50,000 fine by Gene Washington of the NFL's fine police. Allen's fine was for two separate hits on Schaub in the first half of last week's game. This incident comes on the heels of the Vikings' previous game with the Bears, in which Allen was fined $5,000 for jumping onto a pile that was ruled to have been stopped.
In a statement released by the league, the ruling on the fine was as follows:
Jared Allen was fined $50,000 for two plays considered roughing the passer. In both instances, he struck the opposing quarterback below the knee area.
His actions violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12(5) of the NFL Official Playing Rules: "A rushing defender who has an unrestricted path to the passer from any direction is prohibited from forcibly hitting the passer in the knee area or below."
In the letter to Allen, NFL Director of Football Operations Gene Washington noted that Allen was previously fined this year (October 19) for a late hit ($5,000).
To put the Allen fine into context, Jets safety Eric Smith was fined $50,000 for a full-speed helmet-to-helmet hit to the face of Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin – a blow so flagrant that Boldin's quarterback – Kurt Warner – contemplated retirement if Boldin didn't recover quickly. Allen seemed legitimately dumbfounded by the accusations leveled by Texans coach Gary Kubiak that Allen was taking cheap shots at his quarterbacks. He was adamant that, in his time in the NFL, he has never been accused of being a dirty player. Players like Patriots safety Rodney Harrison have been accused of taking the violence of the NFL too far by their peers. Allen never has. But, according to the NFL, he would be in the category of a recidivist.
Allen plans to appeal his fine. He will likely have strong support in one respect – neither of the hits that resulted in his fine were flagged by the referees covering the game. As many times as defensive players have complained about penalties for roughing the passer or late hits on quarterbacks, the fact that the official standing within 10 feet of the contact between Allen and Schaub didn't feel obliged to throw a penalty flag should speak volumes.
But, according to the league stance, that doesn't count as much as watching a play in slow motion in two dimensions from a league office in New York.