Dre Greenlaw

49ers' Greenlaw avoids fine for latest unnecessary roughness penalty

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Linebacker Dre Greenlaw has pushed the limits with his aggressive play.

During the 2023 NFL season, Greenlaw already has been flagged twice for unnecessary roughness.

But, upon league review, neither of those infractions rose to the levels of warranting fines.

Greenlaw was not fined for a play in which a penalty was called on him for unnecessary roughness in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ Week 3 victory over the New York Giants.

The 49ers had one player fined in that game. Left tackle Trent Williams was fined $11,473 for unnecessary roughness, the NFL announced.

Three New York players were fined, including defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson, with whom Williams scuffled. Robinson and safety Jihad Ward were fined $11,473 and $8,139, respectively, for unnecessary roughness. Defensive lineman Leonard Williams was fined $16,391 for an illegal hit on 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.

Greenlaw’s latest in penalty came on a play in which 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward had Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton wrapped up. Greenlaw delivered a hit to take down Slayton just as the whistle was being blown.

Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said he did not believe it was the proper call.

“It is very apparent on the tape that the guy was still up, and I didn't see the whistle being blown,” Wilks said. “So we accept the penalty. They called it. But I thought he was still in legal play for making that hit.

“I definitely never want to take away his aggressive play. That's who he is as a player.”

Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Greenlaw has been called for seven unnecessary roughness penalties (along with three face-mask infractions).

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he believes Greenlaw gets unfavorable treatment from officials because his style of play attracts attention.

“But you’ve still got to call it right,” Shanahan said this week. “It's harder when people are like that. But he plays one way and if he is ever playing a way that's illegal or anything that's not allowed, we will change that fast.

“But Dre is a very talented athlete and very physical and a violent player who can play that fast and keep himself out of trouble for the most part.”

The NFL fined Greenlaw three times last season totaling $31,648. He was disqualified from a game and fined for a hit on Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

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