NFL fines Bradon Meriweather $50K

The NFL imposed huge fines on three players Tuesday for dangerous and flagrant hits in last weekend's games and warned that, starting with this weekend's contests, violent conduct will be cause for suspension.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison was docked $75,000, and New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson each were fined $50,000 by the league.

Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap took a vicious hit from Meriweather on Sunday and called it "one of those hits that shouldn't happen." Robinson and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson were knocked out of their game after a frightening collision in which the Falcons' cornerback launched himself head first to make a tackle. Both sustained concussions.

Harrison and Meriweather will lose the equivalent of nearly two game checks in the fines. Harrison makes $44,411.76 in base salary per game, and Meriweather receives $32,352.94. Robinson is paid $294,117.65 per week in base salary, so the $50,000 fine is just one-sixth of a game check for him.

Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston -- who was Meriweather's teammate at the University of Miami and Robinson's from 2006 through last season in Houston -- saw dissimilarities in the tackles involving those players.

"I love Brandon to death, but that was a flagrant foul. That's what the league is talking about," Winston said. "Dunta's hit, that wasn't even with the helmet. That was just a collision."

Winston said the difference was that Meriweather launched himself at Heap.

Andre Johnson, the Texans' All-Pro wide receiver, said stiffer penalties would make players more hesitant to make hits, and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards didn't support suspensions.

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