Patriots' Carter fined 15K for hit in Chargers game


Patriots' Carter fined 15K for hit in Chargers game

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO Talk about your costly hits.

New England Patriots defensive end Andre Carter was slapped with a 15,000 fine for a hit in New England's 35-21 win over San Diego on Sunday.

When Carter was assessed a 15-yard penalty on the play for roughing the passer, he knew there was a chance he could be fined.

"I just know the league is trying to do a good job as far as protecting the quarterback, protecting people in general when it comes to head-to-head collisions or certain way of hitting," said Carter, who said he was notified of the fine via FedEx. "With all due respect, I understand that. You just have to keep playing football."

In the second quarter, Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers tossed an incomplete pass to wide receiver Vincent Jackson.

Carter delivered a crushing blow just a split-second or two after Rivers released the pass.

It was the kind of hit that Carter admits he and many NFL players have been taught to deliver from the time they started playing the game.

But in the NFL, this new-age NFL, such hits may literally prove more costly.

"That's just the nature of the game," Carter said. "It's football. Especially guys in my position, come across a certain play and make that perfect hit. You just have to learn from it and go on to the next."

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Collins gets his pay day as Patriots prepare for Super Bowl


Collins gets his pay day as Patriots prepare for Super Bowl

NFL Siberia can’t be all that bad. The Cleveland Browns have signed Jamie Collins to an extension that keeps him off the free agent market.

The former Patriot, stunningly shipped out of town on Halloween, has agreed to a reported four-year, $50 million deal with $26M in guaranteed money.

As eyebrow-raising as the move was at the time, this is an all’s well that ends well story.

Collins, a reluctant Patriot once it came clear the team wouldn’t to aim a confetti cannon of money at him, gets the desired big-dough deal. He didn’t drape himself in glory with his level of play this year in New England, but his agitation over making $900K this year was understandable.

The Patriots -- who made the deal not knowing exactly how it would work out with Collins’ fleet of replacements (primarily rookie Elandon Roberts and, October acquisition Kyle Van Noy) -- have played better defense since Collins has been gone and are headed to the Super Bowl.

Would they have been better if Collins stayed? The answer to that is a question: Which version of Collins, the irked one or the motivated one?

Collins did nothing to veil his desire for a huge contract, saying at the end of the season he’d stay with the hapless Browns if the money was right. Now that he’s decided the money was right, what kind of Collins will the Browns get? With $26M guaranteed, the Browns have tethered themselves to the 27-year-old Collins for a chunk of his prime. The shorter term is ideal for Collins because -- if he performs to his capability -- he’ll be able to see another lucrative deal before he’s too aged.

The deal will certainly be noticed by Collins’ former teammates, primarily Donta Hightower who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

The Patriots could franchise Hightower (last year’s tag number was more than $14M) but that’s not going to be ideal for either side. Hightower will want to get the windfall of guaranteed money that comes with a long-term deal and the Patriots may be reluctant to pay that much to a player that’s got an injury history and plays one of the game’s most violent positions.

A lot’s going to happen between now and the time the Patriots have to make their decision. A good deal of it will happen in the next 12 days. If Hightower stealthily saves the Super Bowl as he did in 2014 with his first-down tackle on Marshawn Lynch … how do you put a price on that?