The Seattle Seahawks sit atop the NFC headed into the playoffs, and defensive lineman Michael Bennett says when it comes to the pecking order of players, the NFL clearly has some who sit higher than others.
When Ndamukong Suh was suspended for the Lions vs Cowboys game this Sunday, Bennett spoke out to reporters saying the NFL clearly favors offensive players over defensive. He said it’s particularly true comparing the quarterback position with defensive linemen like him and Suh.
“[Suh] did step on somebody’s foot, but he gets fined because it’s the quarterback,” said Bennett. “As a defensive lineman, people are always stepping on you. People always are hitting you in the head. There’s always something happening to you, but nobody cares because we’re defensive linemen.”
Bennett’s comments came after an independent arbitrator reversed the NFL’s suspension of Suh and changed it to a $70,000 fine.
“[If] I get knocked to the ground, the referee just steps over me and says, ‘That’s part of the game.’ If Peyton Manning falls to the ground, the referee helps him get up. I thought everybody was equal, but that’s a lie.”
Bennett’s comments, while passionate and true, aren’t all that surprising. Quarterbacks are generally not only the face of their respective franchise, but also of the NFL. That’s particularly true in the latest case with Suh, who was fined for stomping on the foot of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers is having an MVP year, with the second-best QBR in the league behind Tony Romo. Naturally he’s going to be watched — and protected — very closely by his coaches, fellow players and, yes, the NFL.
If a defensive lineman had stomped on the foot of Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, Bennett would no doubt be calling for a fine or suspension of the DL who tried to hurt his QB.