The end of the week brings news on fines for NFL players. As expected, Nick Moody will not face a fine for his legal hit on quarterback Russell Wilson. This is not a surprising development given that the NFL's VP of Officiating, Dean Blandino, acknowledged the day after that a flag should not have been thrown. I sure am glad the 49ers will get a do-over on that play!
In related news, Eric Reid was fined $10,000 for his hit on Doug Baldwin as the Seahawks wide receiver went out of bounds. Earlier in the week, Vic Fangio said Reid should not have been penalized on the play because Baldwin was not out of bounds. In fact, Fangio said none of the three personal foul penalties were correct calls. Reid was penalized for another hit on Paul Richardson, but was not fined. On that play, Richardson took several steps, which should have taken him out of the realm of "defenseless receiver". The NFL decided it should not have been a penalty, so once again, thanks for letting the 49ers get a do-over on the play!
Here is a look at Reid's hit on Baldwin:
On the one hand, Baldwin's feet are in the air, so he has not yet gone out of bounds. On the other hand, it seems like Reid could have pulled up. There is always talk about players having too much momentum late in plays to stop, but in this case, it does seem like Reid could have stopped. I could certainly be wrong on that, but I would bet money that at least 9 times out of 10, referees are going to throw the flag on this play.
On that latter point though, Matt Maiocco brought up a good point:
Even if player’s body is out of bounds but has not touched ground, he can reach ball back into field of play to gain extra yards, correct?— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) December 19, 2014
…That’s why I believe any hit on player whose feet have not touched out of bounds is completely warranted and should not be subject to fine.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) December 19, 2014
Maiocco brings up a logical point, but sometimes logic does not always count when it comes to NFL rules. The NFL will continue to throw flags on plays like this, and I suspect players will continue to get fined.