clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DK Metcalf’s recurring ill-disciplined penalties have got to stop

There have been calls for Metcalf to be suspended for his cheap shot on Ahkello Witherspoon and subsequent taunting penalty.

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

DK Metcalf may very well be sending money to the NFL for this shot on Ahkello Witherspoon late in the Seattle Seahawks’ disappointing 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

This was nowhere near the actual play—an 8-yard reception by Colby Parkinson with Seattle down 27-13—and Witherspoon stayed down for a bit, which led to a TV timeout. After the commercial break Metcalf managed to get a taunting flag. There were a few on social media who opined Metcalf should’ve been tossed if not suspended for a game. I doubt a suspension happens.

The flow of the game suggested the Seahawks probably weren’t even good enough to convert 2nd and 2, but I like my chances of a conversion a lot better than 2nd and 17 with two backup tackles in the game. Geno Smith was sacked on back-to-back snaps and that essentially killed any shot at a comeback.

Metcalf explained his actions in the post-game interview.

“Well, I was blocking, and I guess I blocked him a little too hard and pushed him to the ground,” Metcalf said (via The News Tribune). “He got all mad because he felt like I blocked him in the back. I mean, that’s just how I play. I block every play, and when I don’t have the ball, I’m never taking a play off or jogging trying to take a play off. “So, that’s what transpired.”

What did officials tell him was unsportsmanlike about his actions?

“I saw their coaches yelling at me or saying something to me and their players,” Metcalf said. “I let that get to me, and I retaliated. “You know, the second man always gets called, so, just have to be better in that aspect.”

Bobby Wagner said that he’d discussed the matter with Metcalf afterward.

DK had Seattle’s only touchdown, with 3 catches for 47 yards on the afternoon, but no catches after halftime. So statistically speaking, he was a net negative in the 2nd half with no catches and a 15-yard penalty.

I know the comments section will have some “Trade DK” talk and I won’t entertain that as a thing the Seahawks should do unless you want to completely rebuild the wide receiver group we were all excited to watch. Metcalf is damn talented, he’s been very productive, and quietly he’s been consistently available since coming into the NFL back in 2019. I’d like to think his best seasons are still to come. But it’s increasingly hard to defend when he continues to make these errors in judgment.

Metcalf has 9 penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct/taunting/unnecessary roughness for his career, and he also has an ejection to boot for fighting in the Green Bay Packers game. One of his penalties was this touchdown celebration against the Jets in 2020, which is more goofy than anything and I don’t really care about those types of penalties. NFL touchdown celebration penalties and fines are typically lame.

But jawing at the opposition when you’re down two touchdowns and time is off the essence? That’s unacceptable. Last season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he apparently said some magic words to an official after not getting a DPI call, and it turned a 40-yard field goal attempt by Jason Myers into a 55-yarder on a bad playing surface. Thankfully Myers made his kick, but otherwise that could’ve resulted in points lost because of DK. The same 15-yard penalty dead ball foul happened in the first Rams game in LA just a few weeks later, again turning a 26-yard chip shot for Myers into a 41-yarder, which he (again, thankfully) made.

Metcalf has historically been more than willing to mix it up on the field or on the opposition sideline and that has led to several flags, and definitely other instances where he was fortunate not to be penalized. On occasion he’ll get someone else flagged like he’s prime Breno Giacomini. There’s nothing wrong with competitiveness and a fiery spirit, but if you know it can get you in trouble with the officials and it can hurt your team, then something has to change.

By no means was this even among the top-3 issues to address after such a shambolic display of football, but it’s still a real issue that needs addressing because it’s probably going to happen again.