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Bears S Meriweather fined $20K for hit on Panthers WR Smith; plans to appeal fine

Bears safety Brandon Meriweather has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith last Sunday, Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Meriweather was not penalized on the hit and plans to appeal the fine.

During the 2010 season, the former Hurricane, then with the Patriots, was fined $50,000 for a hit on former Ravens tight end Todd Heap. Meriweather appealed that fine, which was reduced to $40,000.

Released by the Patriots in September, Meriweather signed a one-year deal worth $3.25 million with the Bears on September 5. In addition to a $1 million signing bonus, Meriweather is earning a $2.25 million base salary, making his weekly game checks worth $132,353.

According to a league source, the Miami product’s contract also prohibits the Bears from using the Franchise or Transition tag on the two-time Pro Bowl safety in 2012.

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