Dexter Lawrence glanced into his fairly messy locker on Wednesday and acknowledged that he had not yet seen any paperwork that indicated correspondence from the league.
“I haven’t gotten my fine yet,” Lawrence told The Post. “We’ll find out when I get my fine.”
Lawrence knows the NFL will take some money out of his next check for the roughing the passer penalty called on him in the third quarter of last Sunday’s 23-17 victory in Jacksonville. Lawrence does not know if the league will dock him even more money for the fourth-quarter roughing the passer that actually was committed by teammate Leonard Williams but assigned to Lawrence during the game. The press box announcement indicated Lawrence committed the penalty and the official play-by-play also states that Lawrence was the guilty culprit.
If the league wants to collect from Lawrence for both of the penalties, he will not simply accept it.
“Yeah, you have to fight it, if it wasn’t me,” Lawrence said. “I’ll probably just have Leonard pay both of ’em anyway.”
Lawrence smiled when he said that but he knows there is nothing funny about these penalties. In the third quarter, he was flagged for grabbing Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence — the two won a national championship together at Clemson in 2018 — by the front of the jersey and yanking him to the ground.
“They didn’t like that I pulled him down,” Dexter Lawrence said, surmising that the official might have felt that the quarterback’s knee had already touched down before he was pulled down.
There has been all sorts of murmurings and complaints about the way the league is handling these roughing penalties, with videos each week showing that what is considered to be soft contact with quarterbacks flagged for a personal foul. Through the first five weeks of the season, though, roughing the passer penalties actually were significantly less frequent than in years past. There were 29 roughing the passer penalties through five weeks this season, compared with 54 at the same time in 2021 and 41 in 2020.
Lawrence, having the best season of his four-year career, has already matched his single-season high of four sacks he had in 16 games in 2020 through seven games in 2022. He will take aim at Geno Smith on Sunday in Seattle, hoping to add to his sack total. Smith has been sacked 16 times.
What Lawrence says he will not do is pull up short or be soft in the contact he makes on Smith.
“You just continue to play football, you don’t let it affect how you rush the passer or how you tackle the passer because they’re gonna call it or they’re not gonna call it,” Lawrence said. “I’ve had hits where I laid on him a little bit and they didn’t call it. You just continue to play our game, put some hits on him.
“It’s hard to avoid, You see a lot of stuff around the league it’s hard to avoid without breaking them a tackle or you messing yourself up so you just keep playing football.”