Kenny Phillips expects fine for Graham hit

Kenny Phillips doesn’t think his hit on Jimmy Graham Monday night was illegal. But the Giants safety still expects a fine from the NFL.

“I’m probably gonna get one,” Phillips said. “Some of my friends around the league have texted me and said they’re gonna help me out. So I might be all right.”

Phillips said he doesn’t deserve a fine because, “I don’t hit people illegally. I didn’t lead with the helmet. I didn’t launch at him. It wasn’t helmet to helmet. I was just trying to separate him from the ball.

The only problem is, video replays don’t exactly support that. What they do show is Phillips leveling Graham early in the fourth quarter after the Saints tight end ran a slant and had the coverage beat in the seam. Their helmets clearly touched -- Graham braced himself -- as the violent collision ensued. Flags were immediately thrown.

Graham stayed down on the ground for a bit. Phillips went over to see how he was. The Saints didn’t realize that was the Giants safety’s intension, so they went over and pushed him out of the way.

“I went to school with Jimmy,” Phillips said, harkening back to their days at “The U.” “We actually came into college together and were friends, even though he played basketball. I was just trying to make sure he was all right. He was. We laughed about it after the game.

“The Saints didn’t know we were friends and teammates. But between the lines you gotta do what you gotta do. We kinda joked about it after the game.”

Phillips has already been fined twice this season for a total of $30,000. He hung those two letters from the league in his locker with the words, “Help Me!” attached.

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