No suspension for Ed Reed

Yesterday, Ed Reed was branded as a dirty player after he was handed a one-game suspension following his hit on Emmanuel Sanders, a hit which was supposedly the culmination of his dirtiness since he was punished for repeated violations dating back to 2010. The dirty stigma is attached to any suspension due to head hunting or just general idiocy (see: James Harrison, Ndamukong Suh).

Now, less than 24 hours later after his appeal, it’s been decided that Reed’s actions are bad, but not suspension bad, and therefore in terms of public perception he’s no longer considered to be in the same sentence as Harrison and Suh for his level of dirt.

Reed will instead be fined $50,000. Here’s the explanation from league disciplinarian Ted Cottrell in his letter to Reed. Cottrell, a former coach, was jointly appointed by the league and the players’ association to oversee appeals:

“I have determined that your actions were egregious and warrant significant discipline. However, I do not believe that your actions were so egregious as to subject you to a one-game suspension without pay. Player safety is the league’s primary concern in the formation of playing rules and all players are expected to adhere to those rules or face disciplinary action. I hope in the future you will focus on ensuring that your play conforms to the rules.”

The league is aiming to reduce all hits to the head, a noble and fair goal. But the suspension-worthy hits should be those in which the body is launched at the head, creating a missile effect. That element was absent from the Sanders hit.

The notion of past instances which date back to 2010 influencing a suspension also remains absurd. Because, well, this…