When Dominique Rodger-Cromartie leapt at Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich during the Eagles preseason opener on August 9 , you knew you’d be hearing more about the hit. DRC was flagged for a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty during the game and we waited for the league to weigh in.
On Friday, Rodgers-Cromartie discovered the total bill: $21,000, the minimum fine for his offense.
The Eagles corner has said that he thought it was a clean hit. When Rodgers-Cromartie learned that the NFL thought otherwise he joked, “Twenty-one thousand? I ain’t even got that. I won’t hit ‘em no more, I’ll tell you that much.”
Lesson learned. Hopefully.
But some in the national media saw nothing to laugh about with DRC’s action. SI’s Peter King thought a fine in the six figures was warranted and named Rodgers-Cromartie his Goat of the Week
for his irresponsible launching and shoulder/upper arm cheap shot of a defenseless Byron Leftwich, the Pittsburgh quarterback, in the preseason game at Philadelphia. Rodgers-Cromartie is in line for a significant fine — maybe six figures. I think it’s worthy of a suspension. That’s one of the most egregious hits I’ve seen in the league in the last couple of years — worse than James Harrison on Colt McCoy, because you could argue that Harrison thought McCoy was a runner when he lined him up to hit him. Rodgers-Cromartie launched himself in violation of a well-publicized rule, and then hit Leftwich in the head in violation of a well-publicized rule. Luckily, Leftwich walked away, seemingly fine. The next victim may not be so lucky.
“It feels good. I just can’t really talk. It feels good to be back, get the wind back.”