The NFL has had fans, media and players all buzzing over the announcement that they would start suspending players for helmet to helmet hits instead of just giving out fines. Kent Babb talked to Trent Green and Eddie Kennison and the former Chiefs teammates are on very different sides of the issue.
“It’s a smart thing they’re doing,” Green said Tuesday.
Kennison disagreed, and this former wide receiver — a position this new policy is designed to protect — said the league’s willingness to suspend players is “absurd.”
“This is what guys were taught to do,” said Kennison, who played 13 NFL seasons for five teams. “The game of football is made to be played at a high level: fast, physical and hard. I just disagree with telling the guys this is the way you play the game — but if you play it to my disliking, then I’m going to suspend you.”
I think we can all agree that the league has to do something to help protect their players better, but is this really the time to have this sort of throw down? With all of the issues that need to be resolved before a new CBA is agreed to, decided in the middle of a season to change a policy so drastically just seems like a terrible idea.
One of the biggest problems with suspending players is that decisions are going to be made depending on the outcome of each hit, which is wrong. A hit either warrants a suspension or it doesn’t. If you start cherry picking which helmet hits are and aren’t illegal, you will have nothing but endless appeals.