NFL fines Cardinals' Wilson $10K for horse-collar tackle

Updated: November 17, 2007, 4:50 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Arizona Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson has been fined $10,000 by league officials for a "horse collar" tackle in last Sunday's 31-21 victory over the Detroit Lions.

Adrian Wilson

Wilson

The play which drew the fine was a second-quarter run by Kevin Jones on which Wilson dropped the Detroit tailback for a four-yard loss deep in Lions' territory.

Wilson was not penalized by game officials on the play. But during the standard review of game videotapes, members of the league's officiating department deemed the tackle illegal and issued the sanction against the seven-year veteran.

It is not known if Wilson, a Pro Bowl performer in 2006 and one of the league's premier safeties, will appeal the fine. Wilson has a 2007 base salary of $3.25 million.

Given the number of fines levied for horse-collar tackles in 2007, the league has clearly made enforcement of the rule a priority issue this season. Still, even with the vigorous focus, it seems there are at least one or two fines related to horse-collar tackles nearly every week.

The NFL banned the horse-collar tackle in May 2005 by a 27-5 vote after a proposal to take it out of the game was tabled at the league's annual meetings two months earlier. The rule passed after the competition committee twice rewrote it.

The ban against the horse-collar tackle is often referred to as the "Roy Williams Rule," so-called because the Dallas Cowboys' star strong safety often employed the technique in which a defender grabs a player on the back of his shoulder pads and yanks him down.

In studying the tackle, the competition committee concluded that it had contributed to several lower extremity injuries in 2004.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer with ESPN.com.