Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas insists the chop block on Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell wasn't malicious or intentional, but that matters not to the NFL. All NFL players are responsible for their actions on the field.
For miscommunicating or misunderstanding his protection duties on that play, Thomas will be fined $8,268, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. That is the standard first-offender amount, according to The Denver Post's Troy Renck.
It does implicitly absolve tackle Ryan Clady, who was originally called for the chop block by the officials in Sunday's 41-20 win.
Thomas' 2014 cap number is $714,000, according to OverTheCap.com, making this penalty 1.1% of his annual salary and 20.5% of his weekly game check.
Thomas denies intentionally hurting Campbell.
"I guarantee that being dirty is not a part of my game, and to intentionally hurt somebody is not something I would ever do," Thomas told USA Today.
Whether you believe the hit was "dirty" or not, we've gone into great detail to confirm it was illegal, and the NFL's fine of Thomas is further evidence of this. Was it the "dirtiest play ever?" Hardly. Was it a finable offense? Clearly.
Hopefully J.T. learns from it and moves on from it, and hopefully Bruce Arians does too.