The word "fine" is a simple four-letter word to NFL players. For one thing, a performance that is classified simply as "fine" probably isn't good enough to win a game or to get a team into the playoffs. But it's the word's other meaning that strikes fear into the wallets of players (if not the players themselves).
National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear last season that he would not tolerate breaches of discipline and/or hazardous play on the football field. That's why Goodell handed out a total of over $3 million in player fines last season - and also suspended numerous players for one or more games, which meant that they were not paid their salaries for those contests.
Every fine levied last season started at $7,875, which may not be a lot of money to someone with an eight- or nine-figure contract. But to a rookie who may only be making the league minimum at around $26,250 per game, any fine can bite into his bank account. And subsequent violations of the same rule usually send fine amounts up to $20,000 or more. But what about the teams themselves? Are some NFL squads fined more than others? Or are the fines essentially distributed evenly among the 30 teams in the league?
If each team were fined equally, then every club would pay about $100,000 in fines annually; however, only 12 teams exceeded the six-figure fine mark last season. At the other end of the spectrum, the so-called "bad boys" of the NFL, the Oakland Raiders, only recorded two fines a year ago. Furthermore, San Diego only had one player fined, while Kansas City was not fined at all in 2013. One other observation: even though 40% of the league's teams made the postseason, only 10% of the ones on the most-fined list competed in the playoffs.
The ten teams listed below account for over half of the total fines issued by the commissioner's office in 2013. Keep in mind that these aggregate fine totals do not take into account lost salaries from player suspensions.
10 Arizona Cardinals - $104,000
9 Dallas Cowboys - $107,625
8 Atlanta Falcons - $108,675
7 Houston Texans - $118,125
6 Green Bay Packers - $120,000
5 New York Jets - $142,625
4 Washington Redskins - $158,125
3 Tennessee Titans - $161,250
2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - $281,875
1 Detroit Lions - $299,000
You might have guessed that the Lions would top this list given the existence of fine-generating defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh. And it's true that Suh did get slapped with three different fines: $7,875 for making a throat-slash gesture against Tampa Bay in Week 12, $31,500 for roughing Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden in Week 6, and a then-record $100,000 fine after Suh's opening weekend low block into the knees of Minnesota center John Sullivan on an interception return. But Suh had plenty of help from his friends, as Detroit managed to record 17 different fineable infractions on the season (or about one each week). Suh's linemate Nick Fairley also earned three different fines, while Joseph Fauria got hit with two different fines from his tight end spot. Definitely a team effort.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!