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Bears' Marshall Is Fined for Roughness

January 03, 1986

The National Football League said Commissioner Pete Rozelle has fined Chicago Bears linebacker Wilber Marshall $2,000 but denied that Rozelle had accused the Bears of having a bounty on quarterbacks.

Marshall, in a letter from Rozelle, was fined for what the commissioner "felt was an act of flagrant unnecessary roughness" against Detroit quarterback Joe Ferguson in the teams' final game of the regular season, according to Joe Browne, the NFL's director of communications.

Browne said: "In that letter, the commissioner referred to an earlier correspondence with Mike McCaskey, the president of the Bears, in which the commissioner discussed press reports about certain of the Bears' defensive tactics," namely a published comment by cornerback Mike Richardson that the Bears have a reward system for knocking down quarterbacks. "The commissioner said he felt such tactics had no place in the NFL.

"However, in the letter to Marshall, the commissioner pointed out that no one had accused him of intending to hurt an opponent, and the commissioner also stated that no such allegation was implied."

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