Steelers safety Mike Mitchell's late hit drew the ire of Alex Smith, and now it's going to cost him more than $48,000.
A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the NFL has fined Mitchell $48,620 for his hit on Smith during Pittsburgh's matchup with the Chiefs in Week 6, which the Steelers won 19-13. In the third quarter of that game, Mitchell hit Smith low from behind and took his legs out from underneath him well after Smith had released the ball. The hit drew a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty.
"I felt like it was extremely late," Smith said after seeing video of the hit. "I felt there was nothing done there to avoid contact. It was really low from the backside. I thought it was about as flagrant as it gets when it comes to a low hit on the quarterback."
"I don't think this is a first offense, either."
Smith is correct—Mitchell has been fined for illegal hits twice before during his career.
The source told Schefter that Mitchell plans to appeal the fine, as he says he tripped rather than intentionally lunged into Smith.
"I'm not a dirty player," Mitchell said.