For the second time in three seasons, Jets safety Eric Smith is being punished by the league for over-agressive play.
A league source tells NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that Smith has been fined $7,500 for unnecessarily striking a defenseless receiver. The play in question was Smith's hit on New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker during the first quarter of New York's 28-14 win on Sunday. Welker was slow to get up following the play, but later returned to to the game.
The NFL handed down other fines on Friday:
» Cardinals free safety Kerry Rhodes has also been fined $2,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct after making unnecessary contact with an official, according to a league source. The Arizona Republicreported on Wednesday that Rhodes apologized to his coaches for the first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he received in Sunday's 41-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Rhodes was ejected following the second foul of the game.
Rhodes felt the second penalty was unfair, but was contrite about making contact with the official, saying he was just trying to get his attention.
"I wouldn't hit the ref or doing anything else," he said. "I'm not that type of player."