DENVER (AP) _ Angered by a $7,500 fine, Denver Broncos linebacker Glenn Cadrez lashed out at the NFL's zero-tolerance policy on hitting quarterbacks.

Cadrez said he will appeal Thursday's fine stemming from his hit Sunday on San Diego quarterback Stan Humphries. Cadrez's facemask cut Humphries' chin, causing blood to run down the quarterback's jersey.

``The only reason they made a big deal about it was it was on national TV,'' Cadrez said. ``When a quarterback is bleeding on national TV, you're going to get fined. I think it's a bunch of crap.''

While his hit drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty, Cadrez said he did not intentionally hit Humphries in the chin. He explained his case by pointing to a locker-room sign warning players against tackling with their head plowing into the opponent's chest.

``It wasn't a late hit,'' Cadrez said. ``If I put my head down, I'd look just like that guy right there in the picture that's in every locker room in the NFL. You play heads-up football.

``What am I supposed to do, rush in and blitz and put my head down? Then have my three kids live with a paralyzed dad?''

The fine was the second of Cadrez's five-year career. He was fined $1,000 for a scuffle when he was with the New York Jets.

``Three years ago, I hit the punt returner for the Colts and broke his chin wide open,'' Cadrez said. ``The bone was sticking out. There was no flag, no fine. Try to tell me this hit was worse.''