When the NFL fines or suspends a player, it issues a statement about what the player did to draw the fine or suspension. This week, the NFL needs to issue a statement to explain what a player did to avoid a fine or suspension. The player in question is Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett, who was flagged for taking a shot at Jaguars center Brandon Linder‘s knee late in Seattle’s loss at Jacksonville on Sunday. It was Bennett who started an ugly chain of events that saw players on both teams flagged for personal fouls, two Seahawks ejected, and the potential for a crowd-control nightmare when Jaguars fans threw objects at Seattle’s Quinton Jefferson and Jefferson tried to go into the stands to confront them. So why did Bennett, who started it all, get off scot-free? NFL Media reported that the league bought Bennett’s explanation, as relayed by Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, that Bennett was just trying to swipe the ball as Linder snapped it to Blake Bortles for the kneeldown at the end of the game. That explanation is preposterous, and if the NFL actually accepted that explanation, then the NFL needs to say so — if for no other reason than so that the rest of us can understand, once and for all, that the people at the league office simply don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to finding any fair, reasonable and consistent standard for player discipline. Bennett may have been initially attempting to swipe the ball the instant Linder snapped it to Bortles. But that doesn’t explain why Bennett then continued rolling into Linder’s knee, long after Bortles had taken the snap and kneeled down, as Linder attempted to get away from Bennett to protect himself from injury.
NFL must explain why Michael Bennett faced no discipline
Pro Football Talk | Dec 16