How high will the fines go after the craziness of week 10?
Earl Bennett once again wore his illegal pair of orange shoes. Orange shoes are not a big problem in the grand scheme of NFL violations, but after being fined $5,000 for wearing the same shoes in week 9, how high will the fine be after wearing them in week 10?
Ndamukong Suh recently met with Roger Goodell about on the field conduct, but that didn’t change his ferociousness in pursuit of Jay Cutler on Sunday. Although he was not flagged, the ripping off of Cutler’s helmet may result in yet another fine.
Going back once again to the Bears vs. Lions debacle, how will fines be assessed for the fight? Will Stafford receive a fine for the blow that apparently started the whole fight? Or will only the ejected D.J. Moore, who retaliated be fined?
Last week, Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 for a hit, Ray Lewis was fined $20,000 for unnecessary roughness, Earl Bennett was fined $5,000 for shoes, and Von Miller was fined $15,000 for a roughing the passer penalty. These are only the fines that have been announced by the players who incurred the penalties.
Maybe we all just have a short memory and fines haven’t increased at all. In 2010, Goodell issued $2,120,000 in fines, almost twice as much as in 2009 ($1,140,000). In 2001, 2002, and 2003 combined, there was a total of only $1.1 Million in fines. (2004 included a $760,000 fine due to Jamal Lewis drug charges and $950,000 in fines to Denver for circumventing the salary cap in previous years)
Will we ever see a ceiling to the fines?
High profile players have spoken out against the increase in the number and amount of fines in the past several years. In the case of the roughing the passer and illegal hit fines, Goodell seems dedicated to eliminating wreckless play, but he is attempting to take the high speeds out of a NASCAR race, baseballs reaching the crowd at a baseball game, etc. An increase in fines will only increase the number of unhappy players, it will not decrease hard hits on the field, that is what the players are paid for, and what they live to do.
In the case of Bennett, it is obvious that he does not care what the fine will be, which also seems to be the opinion of players who constantly incur penalties for unnecessary roughness.
Although it seems to do no good, for the time being Goodell will continue to fine anyone and everyone he can at increasing amounts. There may not be an end in sight, but it seems senseless and is having no affect on gameplay.