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NFL to fine teams for flagrant hits

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NFL will punish teams next season if their players commit multiple flagrant hits that result in fines.

League vice president Adolpho Birch said Tuesday the discipline will be financial, although he didn't rule out Commissioner Roger Goodell's applying further punishment such as stripping clubs of draft choices.

Citing the notion of club accountability,'' Birch says the details of the plan haven't been worked out. He says as a team's total fines increaseto a certain threshold, we will enforce some ... payback to encourage clubs to stay below that threshold.''

The NFL began a crackdown on illegal hits, particularly those to defenseless players, last October.

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