The NFL reportedly fined 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks $16,000 for his controversial roughing-the-passer penalty against New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Sunday.

Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said on Tuesday that referee Tony Corrente made the correct call on the play that nullified a late-game fumble and Patrick Willis' potential game-changing recovery.

Ex-49ers safety Merton Hanks, NFL vice president of operations, agreed with Blandino, ESPN reported. Hanks, who determines fines for players, is not part of the league's officiating department.

"You can't make forcible contact to the head or the neck area, even if the contact starts below the neck and rises up," Blandino said on Tuesday. "If there's force to that contact, it's a foul. Watch the initial contact, maybe around the shoulder, but it rides up into the neck area and brings the quarterback down with force.

"That's why the flag was thrown for unnecessary roughness."

Brooks is expected to appeal the fine.