Geno Smith was pretty heated after suffering a knee injury against the New York Giants last Monday, and that’s cost him some money.
The NFL has not only not fined Isaiah Simmons for his tackle on Smith that resulted in the injury, but Smith’s subsequent unsportsmanlike conduct/taunting penalty early in the 3rd quarter did result in some monetary punishment for the Seattle Seahawks quarterback.
The NFL didn't fine #Giants LB Isaiah Simmons for the tackle that temporarily sidelined #Seahawks QB Geno Smith on Monday night, but did fine Smith $10,927 for unsportsmanlike conduct -- barking at the defense after he returned to the game.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 7, 2023
For the record, Simmons’ tackle wasn’t flagged during the game, so the only way for him to get a fine is if the league office deemed a penalty should’ve been called. Technically speaking, even though Smith viewed it as a “dirty” play, Simmons began the tackle in bounds and there wasn’t a horse collar pull.
#Seahawks QB Geno Smith told @saltersl that the Isaiah Simmons tackle was a "dirty play" and there's "no place in this sport for that."— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 3, 2023
"I don't respect that type of stuff. You don't need to take shots at guys running out of bounds on the sidelines."pic.twitter.com/rhgMHTpT9a
Smith was heated in the immediate aftermath of this incident, and when he returned to the game he was dinged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he pointed and presumably said something towards the Giants sideline. This standard of penalty is pretty much an automatic fine and not something that’s arbitrarily decided on a case-by-case basis.
All of this is to say that while this is technically a legal play, it probably wasn’t necessary, so if there’s any element of unfairness it’s the ridiculousness of how taunting is adjudicated in the NFL.
Thankfully, Smith just about avoided serious injury, so he should be all systems go next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.