Birk will appeal fine for removing microphone

As NFL fines go, $5,000 isn't that hefty of a punishment.

But Matt Birk will still appeal the $5,000 fine he received for removing a microphone inside his pads prior to the Ravens' game against the Jets two weeks ago.

"I have my sixth kid on the way," Birk joked. "I need all my money for diapers and Cheerios."

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, each team will have one or two interior offensive linemen mic'd up every week in order to capture audio which will enhance the sound of the game. Teams can choose to either have a mic inside the pads of their starting and backup center or both starting guards.

Birk was mic'd up prior to the Sunday night game two weeks back, but decided to remove the microphone when it was causing him some discomfort.

"I've worn a mic before, and this one, I went out for warm-ups and the mic came loose and was jabbing my neck," Birk said. "It's tucked in there pretty tight and I couldn't get it back in there, so I just took it off. I was notified that I'm not supposed to do that."

The 14-year veteran says he will appeal the fine, and will take his case to the league office.

"I'm not going to get up here on my soapbox and proclaim my innocence," Birk said. "I think it was just a misunderstanding. It wasn't like I ripped it off because I didn't want to wear it."

Some might complain that having linemen mic'd up can provide other teams a chance to steal an offense's signals or pick up valuable information that they wouldn't have otherwise.

Birk said he doesn't necessarily agree with that, and doesn't view the microphones as a hindrance.

"I don't know. I think coaches move all around." Birk said. "A lot of calls are the same, or if you play a team, you learn their calls as well. It is what it is, and I think it was just a misunderstanding."

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