Terence Garvin is a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His salary is the rookie minimum of $405,000 a year, a little less than $24,000 per week over the 17-week regular season.
Garvin was fined $25,000, more than one of his game checks, for his block on Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber, which broke his jaw and cracked a vertabrae.
Garvin thought he was just blocking a player looking to make a tackle on a long punt return – which the Steelers scored on by the way. But punters and kickers are ruled defenseless through a play, even if they're trying to make a tackle. Garvin used his helmet to hit Huber above the shoulders, and that's illegal on a defenseless player.
And is he ever going to pay for it.
Steelers Depot points out that the collective-bargaining agreement allows a player to appeal if the fine is excessive compared to the player's earnings. A fine may be reduced if it is at least 25 percent of a player's weekly salary for a first offense and 50 percent for a second offense. Garvin should win that appeal and should get the fine reduced.
But it's still going to end up being a large amount for something that intuitively doesn't seem that egregious. Huber's injuries are awful, but that's going to happen in a violent sport sometimes. Huber appeared in the Bengals locker room on Wednesday in a huge neck brace, a reminder of how rough the NFL can be.
Kevin Huber in the locker room pic.twitter.com/nGIgBS2AnZ
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) December 18, 2013
But Huber, even if he didn't totally absolve Garvin, didn't take the chance to rip him on Wednesday.
"There’s not really much I can do about it now," Huber said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Me getting mad and stressed about it is only going to make it harder to get through. It is what it is. It’s part of the game, I know, big hits. Unfortunately I got one of the big hits and I got hurt and I have to deal with it. I’ll be fine. I’ll be back next year."
Garvin just seemed confused by what he did wrong, when he talked to Pittsburgh media on Wednesday.
“I saw a color and I saw AB (Steelers returner Antonio Brown) coming towards me," Garvin said, according to the Enquirer. "I said I have to try to help him break on this play. I was just trying to do what I could to help him break the play. They’re (punters) part of the team, they’re on the field, they can make plays the same way everybody else can make plays.”
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