Buccaneers rookie linebacker Mason Foster has been fined $20,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco during last Thursday’s game, according to a report on this Tampa-area television station website.
Foster was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the first-quarter play, in which Ochocinco was going over the middle and was drilled by Foster. One of the new player-safety rules being emphasized this year is that hits on “defenseless” players, as Ochocinco was (he was looking toward the ball and didn’t see Foster) draw the 15-yard penalty and are subject to a fine.
On Friday, Ochocinco tweeted to Foster that it was “a great hit” and that he would reimburse the rookie if he was fined.
And moments after news came that Foster had been fined, Ochocinco was on Twitter again, this time sending a message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, saying he didn’t agree with the penalty and reiterating that he would reimburse him.
Foster’s agent told the St. Petersburg Times they will appeal the fine.