Tampa Bay, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Instead of a one-game suspension, Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson will be fined $100,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles after winning his appeal.
The NFL confirmed that the earlier penalty of one-game ban was reduced by Matt Birk, an independent appeals officer appointed by the NFL and the players’ union, to a fine.
With the decision, the two-time Pro Bowler will be eligible to play Sunday against the New England Patriots.
“Birk is jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFL Players Association to hear and decide appeals for on-field player discipline,” a league statement said.
While he has yet to see Birk’s decision, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell noted that Goldson received a “substantial fine” shows “a violation of the rule has consequences.”
“Players are adapting to the rules and techniques,” Goodell said, adding that “the culture doesn’t change overnight.”
Last week, Goldson was earlier fined $30,000 for hitting New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland during the Buccaneers’ Week 1 loss. The one-game suspension would have cost Goldson in the neighborhood of $265,000.
Goldson was flagged for his hit on Sproles, as he was for the hit on Cumberland. The league also announced Wednesday that Birk upheld the $30,000 fine for Goldson’s hit on Cumberland.
The Buccaneers committed 10 penalties for 118 yards in a 16-14 loss to the Saints, one week after committing 13 penalties for 102 yards against the Jets. Tampa Bay’s 220 yards in penalties are the most in the NFL; its 23 penalties are tied for the most with the San Francisco 49ers.
From 2010 through Monday, Goldson has drawn 15 personal fouls, more than any other player in the league.
In his first year with the Buccaneers, Goldson signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract in the offseason after playing the first six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.