Almost a month before he'll receive his first NFL paycheck, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster has received his first fine.
Foster, who separated New England Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco from the ball with a big hit during the first quarter of the Tampa Bay's 31-14 loss last Thursday, learned Wednesday he was fined $20,000 for the hit.
"It's a lot,'' Foster said of the fine. "But it's all good. I'll pay it and keep on going. It won't change the way I play. I'm going to keep playing football the way I know how to play football.''
Foster, who developed a reputation for being a hard hitter at the University of Washington, launched himself at Ochocinco and appeared to hit him in the helmet with his shoulder and elbow. The hit broke up what could have been a big pass play.
Ochocinco applauded Foster for his play, writing in a Twitter message to the Bucs rookie, "That's the way the game should b played.''
Ochocinco also offered in the message to pay for any fine that might be levied against Foster, but NFL officials quickly jumped into the fray and let it be known that is not allowed by league rules.
"I'll work something out,'' Foster joked of paying the fine. "Maybe I'll have (Bucs second-round draft pick Da'Quan) Bowers pay it.''