Johnson, Finnegan Fined $25,000 For Fight

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    Andre Johnson called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday morning, before the league fined Houston's star receiver and Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan $25,000 each for their fight a day earlier.

    Johnson did not speak with Goodell, but left a message. Johnson said that Goodell called back and left a voicemail while the Texans were preparing to practice on Monday night.

    "I just think that was something that I needed to do, just to communicate with him and let him know my side," Johnson said. "I'll give him a call back and whenever we get a chance, we'll talk."

    Neither player was suspended after they slugged it out in the fourth quarter of Houston's 20-0 victory.

    Finnegan set off the brawl by jabbing at Johnson's neck and face mask at the line of scrimmage. Johnson ripped off Finnegan's helmet and landed at least two punches to Finnegan's head and neck. The two spun each other, and Finnegan tore off Johnson's helmet before players and referees intervened.

    Houston (5-6) plays at Philadelphia (7-4) on Thursday night, and Johnson said he was relieved to learn that he'd be allowed to play.

    "That's something I have been thinking about ever since the incident happened," Johnson said. "I'm happy that I'm not suspended. At the same time, I'm not happy about my actions."

    When asked if he would appeal the fine, Johnson said "probably not."

    "Just looking at it, I mean, what can I say?" Johnson said. "There's not really anything I can say, or tell them."

    Finnegan did not speak to reporters after Sunday's game, but talked about it Monday on his weekly radio show. Finnegan said Johnson "snapped," and added that if he had punched Johnson, the NFL likely would have suspended him.

    "This is the NFL, not the NHL, and it's a higher standard," Finnegan said. "That's the NHL. They fight. They get penalized for that. The NFL, it's not even heard of ... you do that, you're suspended. Hands down. That's what I've been taught.

    "I guess he got his money's worth."

    This was the second time they scuffled during a game. Last season, Johnson was fined $7,500 for taking Finnegan to the ground by the face mask.

    Finnegan plans to appeal the fine for Sunday's brawl. He told TitanInsider late Monday that Johnson went into "sheer rage" and that he still doesn't quite understand why the receiver reacted by throwing three punches at him.

    "That's the crazy part, because I felt like the game was going pretty good, other than the fact that he probably had that built up over last year's time," Finnegan said.

    Finnegan also told the Web site he didn't think he deserved a suspension or a fine.

    "I didn't throw a punch. It's not a fineable offense," he said. "There's nothing I did that I felt like was a fineable offense. Maybe a flag for quick-jamming him and hitting him in the face mask. But there's no way that I thought that that would ever be a suspension."

    Johnson wouldn't say if he was surprised that Finnegan wasn't suspended. The Titans (5-6) play Jacksonville (6-5) on Sunday.

    "He can say what he wants to say," Johnson said. "I'm not going to keep talking about him. He's just looking for attention, so I'm not worried about that."

    Finnegan was fined for personal fouls in three consecutive games earlier this season and was warned by the league after the third incident to watch his behavior after the whistle.

    Johnson, meanwhile, has built a clean-cut, soft-spoken image in eight seasons. He doesn't think the ugly incident will change that.

    "I think anybody who really knows me, I don't think I've damaged my reputation," he said. "I can say that you can only take so much from a person before you explode."

    Texans coach Gary Kubiak said he never expected Johnson to be suspended.

    "I didn't think that would happen," he said. "I think the league does a great job of evaluating every situation. Andre's reputation as a player and a person speaks for itself."

    Johnson has been inundated with calls and text messages since the fight, and said he was "tired of talking about it." He attended Sunday night's Houston Rockets game with fullback Vonta Leach and got a standing ovation when he was introduced during a timeout.

    "I couldn't do anything but laugh," Johnson said. "At the same time, it just shows the fans were still behind me, and still showing support, so I really appreciated it."

    Titans coach Jeff Fisher, co-chairman of the NFL's competition committee, spoke with league officials earlier Monday. Fisher said in his opinion Finnegan didn't throw a punch, but did get Johnson's face mask.

    "I have very strong opinions about the fact I think he should not be suspended," Fisher said of Finnegan. "As far as what the league decides to do, that's a league decision.

    "It's an unfortunate thing that happens. You've got two very talented, good football players competing, and it's just very unfortunate. It's not good for our game and I'm just disappointed that type of thing happens on the playing field."