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Tim Dobbins Fined $30K For Hit On Jay Cutler [Updated 4:00pm CST]

That's not a picture of Tim Dobbins hitting Jay Cutler, of course. It is a picture of Kareem Jackson continuing to be awesome, though.

Jay Culter did not have a particularly fun night.
Jay Culter did not have a particularly fun night.
Jonathan Daniel

Say what you will about the hit Tim Dobbins laid on Jay Cutler -- for example, that it was not an illegal hit if Cutler was past the line of scrimmage -- I think we all agreed that it was a play that will be flagged almost 100% of the time in the modern NFL, legality of the play notwithstanding.

Likewise, it's a hit that, once flagged, is almost certainly going to draw a fine from the NFL. We now know the amount of that fine: $30,000.

If that amount seems a little high, you can probably chalk that up to Dobbins not doing himself any favors with his post-game comments about how it was "good that [Cutler] was out" because "you always want to take the quarterback out of the game."

Of course, Dobbins has also claimed -- hilariously -- that the hit was Culter's fault.

"I did not hit him in his head, and actually he ran into me," Dobbins said in a post-game interview. "I just felt like he was going to take off and run with the ball and I thought he was past the line."

As TexansDC noted:

Cutler was actually past the line, as he was flagged for an illegal forward pass, but, whether Cutler ran into Dobbins or not cannot be determined. What was determined is that the helmet-to-helmet hit gave Cutler a concussion and caused him to miss the second half. The hit on a quarterback, and maybe spurred the lack of remorse by Dobbins, led to the $30,000 fine, as reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. No word yet on whether Dobbins will appeal the fine or not.

UPDATE: In the comments below, Capt Ron pointed out something that I think we all kind of overlooked in discussing the hit. Namely, that the call was for unnecessary roughness. Why does that matter? Because, per the NFL rulebook (emphases mine):

Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (Unnecessary roughness)

(f) If a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/"hairline" parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily. Although such violent or unnecessary use of the helmet and facemask is impermissible against any opponent, game officials will give special attention in administering this rule to protecting those players who are in virtually defenseless postures, including but not limited to:


(3) "Launching" (springing forward and upward) into a defenseless player, or otherwise striking him in a way that causes the defensive player’s helmet or facemask to forcibly strike the defenseless player’s head, neck, or face—even if the initial contact of the defender’s helmet or facemask is lower than the defenseless player’s neck. (Examples: a defender buries his facemask into a defenseless player’s high chest area, but the defender’s trajectory as he leaps into the defenseless player causes the defender’s helmet to strike the defenseless player violently in the head or face; or a defender, using a face-on posture or with his head slightly lowered, hits a defenseless player in an area below the defenseless player’s neck, then the defender’s head moves upward, resulting in strong contact by the defender’s mask or helmet with the defenseless player’s head, neck, or face [an example is the so-called "dip and rip" technique]).

Note: The provisions of section (f) do not prohibit incidental contact by the mask or noncrown parts of the helmet in the course of a conventional tackle on an opponent.

(g) if the initial force of the contact by a defender’s helmet (including facemask), forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of a defenseless player.

Note: Defenseless players in (f) and (g) shall include (i) a player in the act of or just after throwing a pass

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