Packers' Barnett to appeal helmet-to-helmet fine

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers linebacker Nick Barnett said Friday he would appeal the second fine he received in as many weeks from the NFL.

Barnett was fined $7,500 earlier this week for a helmet-to-helmet contact on a hit of Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna in the last game.

"I know they're trying to protect the players, but at the same time, we're trying to play football," Barnett said. "Do I think mine is an official fine? I don't think I hit him hard enough with my helmet."

Age: 27

Height: 6-2 Weight: 236

College: Oregon State

Experience: 6th season

Barnett was fined $7,500 last week for a horse-collar tackle of Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson in the Packers' opener Sept. 8.

The sixth-year player also forfeited his paycheck for the first week of the season as punishment for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. Barnett was charged with two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct for an incident at an Appleton, Wis., nightclub in the offseason last year, but later reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

The fines leveled against Barnett for his game conduct have come as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is putting an emphasis on player safety. Goodell sent a memo to teams this week warning that players who endanger the safety of other players would be subject to increased disciplinary measures.

"It's hard to play physical without playing physical," said Barnett, who wasn't called for a penalty for either punishable act in the last two games.

"I understand (being punished for) hitting someone when they're in a defenseless position or trying to hurt somebody," Barnett said. "I definitely have never done that before. In these (recent) incidents, they weren't that. I'm not trying to fight the NFL. I'm just trying to be fair."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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