NFL commits grand larceny on 49ers DE Justin Smith

The NFL announced they fined 49ers DE Justin Smith $5,000 for his late hit on Vikings QB Brett Favre.  For those that don't recall, at the 6:13 mark of the second quarter, Brett Favre dropped back to pass and as he let go of the pass, Justin Smith tackled him.  The ref subsequently called Smith for unnecessary roughness.  In the past this would appear to not even have been a penalty.  However, the introduction of the Tom Brady rule regarding low tackles is what got Smith.

Smith is appealing the fine because he believes he hit Favre above the knee.  He went so far as to say he reviewed the film to confirm his suspicion.  I just went back and reviewed my DVR'd version of the game and I definitely agree with Smith.  I can understand the ref thinking the hit was too low because it was in the midst of the action and it's not easy to see everything going on.  However, in fining Smith I'd like to think the league went back to the tape and looked at the specific play.  Of course, if they did in fact review the tape, they apparently think the hit was too low and are unlikely to review it.  Throw in that this was Brett Favre and you've got this sometimes ridiculous rule in place, and Smith will probably not win his appeal, and thus be $5,000 lighter in the wallet.

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