Cleveland Browns

Browns rookie Jabrill Peppers fined $24K by NFL for illegal hit vs. Bengals

(Joshua Gunther/

Cleveland Browns rookie safety Jabrill Peppers was fined $24,000 by the NFL for his illegal hit on Cincinnati Bengals receiver Josh Malone on Sunday.

Peppers said he was informed of the fine in an email from the league on Wednesday night. The first-round pick said he stopped reading the letter when he saw the dollar amount.

Peppers delivered a hard blow to Malone’s chest area in the fourth quarter, but the official ruled that he made contact with the receiver’s helmet and assessed him a personal foul. Cincinnati scored a touchdown moments later to wrap up its 30-16 win.

“I don’t know what they want us to do, especially in terms of football’s a violent game,” Peppers said. “I don’t know why they’re trying to take the violence out of it. I think they’re trying to make it too friendly.

“I thought after the game, they’ll review it and see I didn’t maliciously try to hit a guy helmet to helmet. I was just trying to make a play and dislodge him from the ball. I don’t have $24,000 to give like that.”

Peppers feels he led with his shoulder and his hit was within the rules. He’s still unclear as to why Malone was considered a “defenseless” receiver as he appeared to be running with the ball.

Peppers plans to appeal the fine.

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