Saints’ DE Cameron Jordan reacts to $10,000 fine for roughing the passer penalty

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ– New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) celebrates his second quarter sack of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.

After incurring a $10,000 fine for a penalty he got while rushing Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said, “I get it, man — they’re trying to make the game safe for quarterbacks.”

Then, he chuckled and continued, “Without a doubt, I get it — you have to protect the quarterback. It is what it is.”

The NFL in an email on Friday said it fined Jordan for roughing the passer. With 11:49 left in the first quarter of New Orleans’ 17-13 win over Atlanta on Nov. 21, Jordan charged Ryan from the right, working against Falcons left tackle Lamar Holmes. Jordan batted his arms at Ryan and, with his right hand, hit the quarterback in the face mask as a 7-yard pass was completed.

Officials flagged Jordan, and Atlanta accepted the 15-yard penalty.

“I can’t even really recall the play — I’ve got to go back and look it over,” Jordan said. “I caught a penalty for it, and I thought that was a little egregious, but apparently I must’ve done something. Whoever’s in charge of fining decided it was time to fine me.”

Jordan, a first-round draft pick in 2011, leads the Saints (9-2) with a team-high 9.5 sacks, 2.5 of which came after he was whistled for roughing the passer. He’s second in the NFC behind St. Louis Rams DE Robert Quinn (13) during what’s turning out to be a Pro Bowl-caliber year.