Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was fined an amount in the six-figures and could have a limited role in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks for his behavior in the final minutes of a 7-6 loss to the New York Jets in Week 13, Bob Baum of the Associated Press has confirmed.
Word of the fine and the additional disciplinary measures was initially reported by Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910.
According to the reports, Dockett refused to comply with the decision by head coach Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Ray Horton to allow the Jets to score a touchdown, a score that would have given the Cardinals an opportunity to possess the ball and score a game-tying touchdown. Dockett was involved in a heated on-field argument on the field with safety Kerry Rhodes, but the issue was rendered moot as Jets running back Shonn Greene downed the ball at the one-yard line, allowing the Jets to run out the game clock.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reported earlier this week that Dockett spat in Rhodes' face during the argument. Dockett apologized to Rhodes for the incident, but refuses to apologize for his stance against surrendering points to an opponent.
"It's something that I don't believe in, something that I didn't understand,'' Dockett said then. ''It was frustrating at the time. At the end of the day, I am never, never going to lay down and quit. I've been playing football for over 20 years. I've given this organization, I've given Florida State, I've given my high school everything I've got. I love the game. I play with passion and I'll never quit.''
Dockett plans to appeal the fine, which Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports was $200,000, which is the exact amount of one of the 17 game checks that Dockett will earn as part of his $3.4 million base salary. Put another way, after Dockett had three tackles with one quarterback hit while playing in 87 percent of the defensive snaps on Sunday, the Cardinals want him to play that game for free.
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Dockett was a third round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft who developed into one of the top defensive tackles in the National Football League, earning trips to the Pro Bowl following 2007, 2009 and 2010 seasons. During his eight-plus seasons in the NFL, Dockett has started 137 of his 138 games and has totaled 36 sacks, including a career-high nine during the 2007 season. Since signing a four-year contract in 2010 that included $30 million in guaranteed money, Dockett has 10 sacks, including just 3.5 sacks during a 2011 season where he played in 1,000 of the Cardinals' 1,142 (87.57 percent) defensive snaps, according to official NFL playing-time documents.
Through 11 games this season, Dockett, whose four-year run as a team captain ended before this season, has played in 73.54 percent of the defensive snaps, per playing-time data posted on NFL game books and tracked by Shutdown Corner. Dockett's absence would do the NFC West-rival Seahawks a favor as the Cardinals may be without Calais Campbell, who is "questionable" with a calf injury that has kept him out of the previous three games.
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