San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,750 on Wednesday for a controversial hit on Drew Brees that drew a personal foul penalty. The penalty negated a strip-sack and allowed New Orleans to drive for the game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter of its 23-20 win on Sunday.
Brooks hit Brees in the neck with his arm, leading many to believe it wasn't a penalty.
"I didn't hit him with my hand or my helmet," Brooks told reporters after the game. "I basically bear-hugged him. That's just how football is played. I think this s--- is bulls----. Football, the way they call stuff these days, it's watered down. It ain't real no more."
Brees, who said the hit wasn't malicious, still believed it warranted a penalty — as did NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino.
"You can't make forcible contact to the head or the neck area, even if the contact starts below the neck and rises up," Blandino explained on NFL Network. "If there's force to that contact, it's a foul. Watch the initial contact, maybe around the shoulder, but it rides up into the neck area and brings the quarterback down with force.
"That's why the flag was thrown for unnecessary roughness."
The good news for Brooks is that both Ray Lewis and Tedy Bruschi said they'd help Brooks pay the fine.
NFL fined 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks $16,000 for hit on Saints QB Drew Brees. Ray Lewis has offered to pay half the fine. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2013