Source: NFL reviewing Newton’s contact with official; fine possible

jperson@charlotteobserver.comDecember 24, 2012 

The NFL office is reviewing Cam Newton’s contact with a game official during Sunday’s win against Oakland and could fine the Panthers’ quarterback, a league source said Monday.

After being taken down by Raiders safety Mike Mitchell after a short pass in the fourth quarter, Newton stood up quickly and yelled at referee Jerome Boger, bumping him and drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Boger told a pool reporter he misspoke when he announced the personal foul was for bumping an official. He said he penalized Newton for “disrespectfully addressing” an official, adding the contact wasn’t of a “malicious nature.”

Newton apologized to Boger after the game.

Newton, who was sacked twice and hit a number of other times, said he was frustrated that the blitzing Mitchell finished his hit after Newton released the ball.

“Usually when you throw the ball, they release. But in that particular time I felt as if I threw the ball and he’s still finishing the hit and drove me into the ground,” Newton said Sunday. “Out of frustration and me seeing the umpire right there, I questioned his decision not to throw the flag.”

The NFL rulebook states that unnecessary physical contact with a game official “may result in disqualification” and must be reported to the commissioner.

A league spokesman said the decision to eject a player lies with the official; Boger said he never considered tossing Newton from the game.

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