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League reduces fines on Robinson, Harrison, Meriweather

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The NFL has reduced fines on Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson, New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison issued in October for flagrant hits during Week 6 games.

Robinson and Meriweather were both fined for helmet-to-helmet hits against defenseless receivers -- Robinson for his hit on Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, which left both players concussed, and Meriweather for his hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap. Robinson's fine was reduced from $50,000 to $25,000; Meriweather's from $50,000 to $40,000.

Harrison, who was docked for a helmet-hit on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, saw his fine reduced from $75,000 to $50,000.

Each player has the right to appeal league discipline. Appeals are heard and decided by Pro Football Hall of Fame player and former NFL coach Art Shell and by former NFL coach Ted Cottrell. Shell and Cottrell are appointed and paid jointly by the NFL and NFLPA.

In a statement, the league confirmed the outcome of the appeals, saying Cottrell reduced Robinson's and Meriweather's fines and then "took the additional step of reviewing the appeal of James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers."

"Cottrell consulted with Commissioner (Roger) Goodell about reducing Harrison's fine to $50,000 and the commissioner fully supported the decision," the statement reads. "Cottrell said he reduced the fines because the players said they understood the rules and have made efforts to adjust their techniques to play within the rules that protect player safety."

Harrison's four fines this season for dangerous hits now total $100,000.

Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, also plans to appeal a $25,000 fine Harrison was assessed for a hit on Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Nov. 28.

Harrison sidelined both Massaquoi and returner-wide receiver Joshua Cribbs with hits that caused concussions. He was not fined for the Cribbs hit. The teams meet again Sunday in Cleveland.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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