FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -New York Jets safety Eric Smith thinks the NFL ``made an example'' of him with its punishment of his helmet-to-helmet hit on Arizona's Anquan Boldin a few weeks ago.
Smith was suspended and fined $50,000, including one game check, after the scary collision near the end of New York's 56-35 win on Sept. 28.
``If you compare it to the other fines and the extent and the value of the number they put on the other fines, I definitely feel that I may have been made an example of,'' Smith said Thursday. ``It was a first offense this year, and there are a couple of second offenses that haven't been as severe as mine.''
Boldin needed surgery to repair a fractured sinus and is sidelined indefinitely. Smith, in his third year, appealed the decision and insisted there was no malicious intent on his part. The league said Smith committed a flagrant violation of player safety rules and that Boldin was in a defenseless position when contact was made.
hit him like that, but they told me intent wasn't looked at,'' said Smith, whose salary is $445,000. ``But if intent isn't involved, then why isn't every fine the same?''
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league would have no comment on the suspension or Smith's statements.
Smith was accompanied to his appeal hearing at the NFL's offices in Manhattan last week by his agent, Buddy Baker; Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum; and a lawyer for the NFLPA. Smith said he knew he had little chance of having the penalties overturned.
``I felt that the media attention it received was really tough to win my appeal, just because of the attention it got and basically everybody knew about it,'' said Smith, who sat out the Jets' win Sunday against Cincinnati. ``So, it was going to be tough for the NFL to change their decision on it.''
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who a few weeks earlier issued a player safety edict, was not present at the hearing.
``I can't say it would've helped me or hurt me either way,'' Smith said, ``but I would've definitely liked to have talked to him about it.''
field. No penalty was called on the play.
Smith was also briefly knocked unconscious and has no recollection of the hit - except for what he's seen over and over on replays.
``From the first time I saw it, it looked as I'm going to hit him, I'm going to hit him in the chest,'' Smith said. ``But when he got hit from behind, he came down into where my line of hitting was. So, if he hadn't been hit from behind, then it wouldn't have been helmet to helmet.''
Smith called Boldin a few days after the collision and left him a message.
``He couldn't talk because he had just had the surgery, but he texted me back,'' Smith said. ``Basically, he didn't hold me accountable for anything. He knew I'm not a dirty player and he basically didn't want me to change my style of play or preparation.''
Smith, expected to play in the Jets' next game Sunday at Oakland, doesn't think the collision will change his approach.
``I really don't think so because, I mean, I'm not a dirty player,'' he said. ``That wasn't my intention to hit him like that, so it was just the circumstances that resulted in the impact being helmet to helmet. I can't let that affect how I play. If I got put in the same situation where a receiver has the ball in his hands in the end zone, then I'm probably going to attack it the same way.''
.
Last week, Arizona's Adrian Wilson was fined $25,000 by the NFL for a hit on Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards. It wasn't helmet to helmet, but Edwards suffered a concussion and didn't return. League officials decided that Wilson unnecessarily drove Edwards to the ground.
Two weeks ago, Carolina's Julius Peppers was fined $10,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. A penalty was called by Ed Hochuli, wiping out Richard Marshall's interception return for a touchdown.

Recent NFL Discussions

2017 NFL Draft Props on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Handicapping Week 1 on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Blade what time do you get up on Thu, Feb 2017 by Blade
VIR- V TECH GAME on Sun, Feb 2017 by Timmy1961
Hey bri guy and ranger on Sat, Feb 2017 by BriGuy

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Taylor could be fit in Cleveland Could current Bills Tyrod Taylor be a fit for the quarterback-needy Browns next season?
Thumbnail Palmer, Fitz both returning for Cards The Arizona Cardinals will have their starting quarterback back for 2017, as Carson Palmer confirmed he will return to play next season.
Thumbnail AFC Championship Odds In no surprise, the Patriots are favored to win the 2018 AFC Conference Championship over the Steelers and the rest of the field.
Thumbnail 2018 NFC Conference Title Odds The Falcons may be the defending NFC champions but it's the Cowboys that are favored to win the title in 2018.
Thumbnail 2018 Super Bowl Odds Following their unbelievable comeback in Super Bowl LI, the Patriots have opened as favorites to win Super Bowl LII in 2018.
Advertisement

NFL Team Pages