|Wednesday, November 7
Robinson fined $20,000 by league
By Len Pasquarelli
The NFL on Wednesday fined New York Jets safety Damien Robinson $20,000 for his actions against quarterback Aaron Brooks late in Sunday's victory at New Orleans, but did not add further sanctions to Saints offensive tackle Kyle Turley beyond the $25,000 punishment that was levied by the team for his role in the incident.
In addition, league director of football operations Gene Washington cautioned both of the players that similar infractions in the future could result in suspension.
On a run by Brooks late in the game, Robinson was involved in the tackle, and the replay showed him grabbing the facemask of the New Orleans quarterback and twisting back his helmet. That action precipitated the retaliation by Turley, who wrestled Robinson to the ground, yanked off his helmet, flung it down the field and then made an obscene gesture as he was ejected from the game.
"The league had to handle the situation," Robinson said. "It was not done purposely. I'm friends with AB. It was part of the game with the game on the line. It became more than it was.
`I would not have pulled on the face mask if I knew I was doing it. I told AB that after the game."
The Saints on Tuesday fined Turley $25,000 and he agreed to enter a counseling program for anger management.
There was some speculation that the NFL might add to Turley's fine, but in cases where a franchise imposes sanctions internally, it is not unusual for the league to defer to the team punishment. According to Article 11, Section 5 of the league's collective bargaining agreement, a fine imposed by the league would have superceded the team sanctions and a player cannot be doubly jeopardized. The NFL still, however, could have suspended Turley.
Washington informed both players in writing that their actions on the field will be closely scrutinized now.
"Any act irrelevant to the game of football that appears intended to create an unnecessary risk of injury to an opposing player will result in a level of discipline substantially higher than the normal fine levels," the policy reads in part.
Sources close to Turley said he will not appeal the fine and that he fully intends to honor his pledge to work on his obvious anger management problem. Robinson, who was fined last month for attempting to enter Giants Stadium for a game with an attack rifle in the back of his vehicle, had no immediate comment on the league action.
A source close to Robinson said the player "is still considering" his options.
Jets coach Herman Edwards was incensed at Robinson's actions.
"How we conduct ourselves as coaches and players is vital," Edwards said. "We didn't conduct ourselves the right way at the end of the game. He represents the football team and this organization, and it's not just him.
"You've got to go by the rules and respect the game, and when you do not do that, it bothers me."
Edwards signed Robinson away from Tampa Bay as a free agent this year. Edwards was the secondary coach for Robinson with the Buccaneers.
Saints coach Jim Haslett was satisfied with Robinson's punishment for the face-mask incident.
"Whatever the NFL felt it warranted is fine," he said Wednesday.
Haslett had little else to say regarding Turley.
"There will be nothing more done or said about the situation. The NFL is not going to do anything more. It's closed and we'll move on from here.
"It was a big price to pay, a tough thing for him. I think he's learned from it."
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.