Minnesota Vikings rookie Antone Exum is appealing the $22,050 fine levied against him by the NFL for an illegal block earlier this month against the Packers, Chris Tomasson of The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Exum, a backup safety, illegally blocked Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush on a Vikings punt return during an Oct. 2 meeting between the two teams at Lambeau Field. Bush was penalized for the play and later fined by the league.
On Monday, Exum said he isn't a dirty player and that he'd learn from the experience. More from the Pioneer Press:
“We’re going to appeal because I don’t really think that it was a blindside hit because I was intentionally trying to wait until I was in his sight before I hit him,’’ Exum said. “So we’ll see what they have to say and I’ll learn from it.’’
Exum makes $24,706 per game. So his fine cost him nearly an entire week’s salary.
“That’s why I’m appealing because they can reduce it or take it away entirely,’’ Exum said. “We’ll see what the fine gets down to. I just wish for the best. Just being fined in general is not good. It’s a learning experience.’’
The Packers won the game, 42-10.
The Vikings drafted Exum in the sixth round of this year's NFL draft out of Virginia Tech. The NFL announced Exum's punishment on Friday.
Minnesota dropped to 2-4 on the season after Sunday's 17-3 home loss to the Detroit Lions. The Vikings are in last place in the NFC North.
- Stanley Kay