Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate has been fined Wednesday by the NFL for a violent block placed on Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee in Sunday's game, reports NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. While Rapoport did not get the exact figure of the fine, the minimum fine for such a blindside hit is $21,000.
On a broken play, Tate found himself in the left flat and he reversed field to help block for quarterback Russell Wilson, who pulled the ball down and took off. Lee was in pursuit and with his eyes locked on Wilson seemingly didn't see Tate coming back toward him. The Seattle receiver put the hit right below Lee's chin, but it violently knocked the Dallas linebacker backward.
Tate afterward said that he didn't think the hit was illegal, according to a radio interview transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews.
"I didn't think I was leading with my helmet and I think I purposely aimed lower than I think anyone else would have because I didn't want to get head-to-head contact and I had no interest in hurting him. So no, I didn't lead with my head. I didn't think so."
Lee, who took a while to get up from the hit but was not injured, said afterward that the block was part of the game, and he acknowledged it was below the helmet. Dallas owner Jerry Jones disagreed and expected Tate to receive a fine.