NFL fines Saints S Harper for 2 infractions

NEW YORK (AP) - New Orleans safety Roman Harper has been fined a total of $22,500 by the NFL for two infractions during the Saints game against the Tennessee Titans.

Harper was fined $15,000 for roughing the passer on a helmet-to-helmet hit, and another $7,500 for unnecessary roughness during Sunday's win over the Titans.

The second fine stemmed from a play on which Harper pulled receiver Damian Williams down by his helmet after a long catch and run. The tackle likely stopped Williams from scoring, and Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams defended Harper's aggressiveness on that play.

"If that guy doesn't want his head tore off, duck. Because that's how we're playing. He needs to duck, OK? And that is exactly what you have to do," Williams said. "One of the things about playing in this league is that your mental toughness, your physical toughness, all that kind of stuff works hand-in-hand. And I love Roman Harper and the way he plays, and evidently a lot of other people and players in the league do, too, because they keep on voting him to the Pro Bowl."

Harper has been to the Pro Bowl the past two seasons.

In other fines announced by the league on Friday, San Francisco linebacker Larry Grant, New England defensive end Andre Carter and Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher were docked $15,000 apiece for roughing the passer infractions. Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch was fined $10,000 for striking an opponent away from the play, and Texans defensive end Antonio Smith received a $10,000 fine for grabbing an opposing player by the facemask.

Also, Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall was penalized $7,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct (throwing a penalty flag).

Smith told KRIV-TV he would appeal the fine.

"The fines are getting outrageous," he said. "Something has to be done with it. I really do think we need a defensive-minded person doing some of the assessments on what's a legal hit and what's an illegal hit."


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