Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Newton learned his penance Thursday for making contact with an official and abusive conduct and it was a little slap on the wallet to the tune of $21,000.
The second year Panthers quarterback was hit by a blitzing Mike Mitchell during a play in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game and was furious there was no flag. He got his wish as a flag was soon thrown but it was on Newton himself for unsportsmanlike conduct after bumping official Jerome Boger and verbally berating him.
The odd part of this is, the contact he made with the official is an ejectable offense. The fact that he remained in the game is not only unusual, but according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, it's downright unheard of.
Newton got off easy. Earlier this year, Pats coach Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 for grabbing an official's arm. And while Vikings safety Harrison Smith ultimately wasn't fined for contact with an official, he was ejected on the spot.
Newton should have been ejected, too. I reviewed the NFL's official casebook with NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos on Sunday after the Newton incident, and Daopoulos pointed out that the various provisions regarding fouls against officials have one consistent outcome - when a player makes contact with an official, the player always is ejected.
Boger, as Daopoulos surmised, likely opted not to eject Newton because Boger didn't want to send a starting quarterback to the showers. But that shouldn't matter, and that message likely will be communicated to all officials soon.
Newton apologized for his conduct with regard to the Official
"The words that I said during the game were very disrespectful and I apologized to him during the game, but I'm going public and apologizing again. It was something in the heat of the moment." Said Newton.
Newton may have been contrite for his temper tantrum against the Boger but following the game, he made no such apologies for his kicking Tommy Kelly in the face. He instead made up some nonsense about getting up quickly to get to the next play despite the next play being fourth down which would have him leaving the field. At least if not for the unnecessary roughness penalty that was called against Kelly.
That kick was also an offense worthy of an ejection and a fine similar to that of Ndamukong Suh when he stomped on a player. But Newton's special treatment was likely for the same reason that Daopoulos mentioned. Suh is a defensive lineman and Newton is a starting quarterback.