The NFL is going to have an interesting decision to make this week in regards to the helmet-to-helmet hit that Eagles corner Asante Samuel delivered Sunday night to Giants receiver Derek Hagan. On a second quarter pass that Hagan caught in the flat, Samuel clearly leads with his helmet and strikes Hagan in the head.
The play was flagged for a personal foul penalty. Samuel is almost certain to at least be fined for the hit, though the fact that he celebrates after what is clearly an illegal hit might prompt the league office to take further disciplinary action against Samuel. Since the league has imposed its stronger emphasis on helmet hits, there have been a few instances where such hits had been penalized, but none of them featured the offending player celebrating as brazenly. Whether Samuel shows remorse after the game could be critical to whether the league opts to make an example of him and make Samuel the first player to receive a suspension by dint of the new emphasis. It might sound extreme to some, but the league made it clear that suspensions were an option for flagrant cases of helmet shots.