Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith questioned the severity of the punishment on Kazee and was further angered when he was fined an equal amount by the league for retaliating.
Both players were fine $10,026 by the NFL, even though Kazee was ejected from Atlanta’s 31-24 win over Carolina on Sunday and has since apologized to Newton. Kazee was subject to a suspension for the hit, which would have meant his fine would have been one game check, $32,647.
“I hate to see any player lose money but if that hit was on any other QB but Cam that fine would’ve been a trillion dollars,” Smith wrote on his personal Twitter account.
The play in question occurred on a scramble to the left side by Newton. The quarterback slid feet first to the ground at the end of his run as Kazee flew in and delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit that left Newton dazed and writhing in pain on the ground.
Smith charged in from the left side and shoved Kazee to the ground, drawing an identical fine of $10,026 for unnecessary roughness and retaliation.
Smith questioned the NFL’s criteria for meting out justice on Twitter, likening it to posting bail.
“How is the shoving fine equal to the actual hit? That’s crazy,” wrote Smith. “If you aren’t familiar with the cash bail system it’s just like the NFL in this situation. Someone pulls a random number out of their behind with no real reason for it and you have to deal with it.”
More shoving between the teams ensued after the play, which also led to a fine of $10,026 against Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley for a retaliatory hit on Smith.