Dante Wesley Suspended For Game Without Pay

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports the NFL has suspended Carolina Panther Dante Wesley for his cheap shot on Tampa Bay Buccaneer Clifton Smith yesterday.

Dante Wesley Hit On Clifton Smith

(Video after the jump)

NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson in a letter to Wesley: “The prohibited contact in this case went well beyond simply interfering with the receiver. Instead, by striking your defenseless opponent in the head and neck area, you committed an unnecessary and unnecessarily dangerous act that is specifically prohibited by the rules.

More from Anderson: Your actions are of particular concern in light of the emphasis that our office has placed on developing and enforcing rules designed to protect players from injury, including head and neck injuries. The safety of our players is paramount to all of us in the NFL.

Wesley, who has eight seasons in the league - all as a special teams player - will lose over $36,000 for the one game check. That kind of experience makes his hit that much more egregious. If it was a rookie trying to impress, you wouldn’t excuse the hit, but you could better understand why it happened.

Bucs Coach Raheem Morris on Smith’s condition today: “I’ll talk to my trainer, and we talked about Clifton. He was up and moving around a little bit. We have to just check on him. See what is going on for tomorrow. See what is going on for Wednesday.

Wouldn’t want to be Wesley when the Bucs visit Charlotte later this season.