Morris surprised by amount of Foster's fine
Bucs coach Raheem Morris expected rookie linebacker Mason Foster to be fined by the NFL for his hit on Chad Ochocinco in the Bucs 31-14 preseason loss last Friday. He just didn't think it Foster would be docked $20,000.
"I guess I can honestly say I was surprised by the amount,'' Morris said Thursday. "A first offense, if it was an offense, I'm sure they've got to go through the appeal process and all that stuff through the league. I'm sure he'll do that with his agent and I'm sure they'll get it right at the end of the day. It's the NFL, they always get it right.''
Foster's agent, Steve Caric, said they will appeal the fine. Under the Article 46d of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, on appeal a player may assert among other defenses, that any fine should be reduced because it is excessive when compared to the players’ expected earnings for the season in question.
However, fine may be reduced on this basis only if it exceeds 25 percent of one week of a player’s salary for a first offense. Foster is scheduled to earn $375,000 in base salary this year.
Morris said he hopes the fine does not take any aggressiveness from Foster's style of play but said the emphasis needs to be separating the football from the receiver.
"It's the defenseless receiver rule, so you don't want to take shots on defenseless receivers and also hurt you team with a 15-yard penalty,'' Morris said. "The thing you've got do is ball search. You've got to go in there looking for the ball and not with the normal style that we're all accustomed to. You have to go in there and try to knock the ball out with your hands. We don't want that to slow down his tempo...it's a fine line, but we've all got to walk the same line.''