NFL News: Browns’ TJ Ward fined $25,000 as “repeat offender”

Cleveland Browns strong safety TJ Ward officially has $25,000 less to his name as the NFL levied a fine against the third-year safety for a hit which occurred in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

When Ward put the finishing touch on an attempted pass to Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, the team was handed a 15-yard penalty for what was deemed a hit to the helmet of a defenseless receiver. Replays showed that while Ward did not in fact hit the receiver in the helmet, that the speed of the game coupled with the subjectivity of the enforcement of said rule resulted in the penalty flag being thrown.

Unfortunately for Ward, this penalty was also viewed in similar light as his hit against then Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jordan Shipley, ultimately resulting in a larger fine being levied against the third-year strong safety. He was docked $15,000 for the first hit.

“T.J. isn’t a dirty guy,” said former head coach Eric Mangini on the subject of the hard-hitting safety. “He’s not a dirty guy.  He’s a young guy.  He’s an aggressive guy and he’s an inexperienced guy, but he’s not a dirty guy.”

Ward has stated that he feels the fine was “not fair,” and was artificially high for being considered a repeat offender. He will appeal the NFL’s ruling.

[Related: Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 10, Under Pressure]

  • Shouldn’t you actually have to commit the offense before being fined for it?

  • Harv 21

    this might sound sarcastic but it’s not: I don’t think Ward has much experience separating receivers from the ball as the ball arrives without getting penalized. He’s solid tackling running backs, but he’s usually chasing receivers as they run away. Most of his receiver hits occur as a shove as they’re heading out of bounds on sideline timing routes.

  • Wow

    So when do they start handing out flags and calling it the flag football league?

  • thatmankev

    The hit in question wasn’t illegal to begin with, not only was the penalty unjustified, but so is this fine. What is going on in the NFL these days, it’s becoming a penalty happy sissy league.

  • I believe safety for all players is paramount in the NFL but please let an illegal offense occur before the yellow starts hitting the ground. I’ve noticed too many games being impacted by questionable calls lately. This particular incident didn’t occur in my opinion. So instead of letting a bad call go they compound it by levying a fine on him just to legitimize a bad call. The NFL needs to admit that their refs make bad calls and instruct them that games shouldn’t be won or loss on questionable penalties.

  • John

    The league is turning players into a bunch of sissies. Every week someone else ends up with a concussion or concussion like symptoms. While I’m all for player safety this is just getting rediculous. To the league, let the players play. To the players, man up already.

  • Nastmac

    When did the league bring back the replacement refs? That was just one of many blown calls. I swear the fix was in. I’ve been a Browns fan for so long that I just figure that they are going to blow the lead, I just don’t want the refs to do it for them.

  • Willweverwin

    Ridiculous call,even more ridiculous fine! End of story.Fully support Ward’s appeal.Keep playing hard TJ!