Venting about terrible calls has been a theme here – as it is with every football website – pretty much since the season started. But I don’t think we always give enough credit to how many terrible calls are made behind the scenes. Each week, the NFL rolls out ridiculous fines and suspensions for stuff fans largely don’t even care about.
This week’s cash grab included fines for both Doug Baldwin and Vontaze Burfict for flipping the bird. Both players paid $12,154, providing yet another example of how bonkers the system is. If the league wants to be hyper-sensitive about middle fingers, it shouldn’t treat the two incidents the same. For one, Burfict fired off a double-barreled salute; it would stand to reason his fine should be twice as severe. Second, Baldwin’s bird was intended for Darrell Bevell, while Burfict’s was flown directly at fans. It seems like one was far worse than the other, but the NFL has continually proven it’s not into investigating things very closely. Well … most things.
Anyways, I’m not here to tell Roger Goodell how to do his job (better, is the answer), I’m just here to highlight some of the stupidest fines the NFL has levied this season. Enjoy!
Worst NFL Fines of 2016
5. Fake photographers get shuttered
Owa Odighizuwa just wanted to capture the moment, like so many others who roam the sidelines each week at an NFL game. Yet because he didn’t actually possess a Nikon, or a stupid yellow vest, the Giants defensive end was fined $12,154 for taking “pictures” of Landon Collins following his incredible pick six against the Rams.
How is that celebration “excessive?” He didn’t even have a camera. It was pretend. If anything, it’s a frugal celebration.
I guess Odighizuwa should have learned from teammate Odell Beckham Jr., who was fined for a similar transgression in Week 1. But it sure seems like a double-standard, unless the NFL also fines every photographer in the stadium too.
Maybe they do? We should ask Keith Allison.
4. Suspending guys for “undisclosed reasons”
Former Aggies tight end Cameron Clear has yet to stick with an NFL roster beyond camp, but if he ever does make a team, he’ll have to sit out four games before his career can begin. The tight end was suspended this summer and fined an undisclosed amount for … your guess is as good as mine.
Apparently, sometimes the league doesn’t need to provide a reason in order to make a player’s life more difficult. So we’re left just trusting that Clear did something to deserve a wrist slap. The worst thing I could find was that he stole a laptop in college, back in 2012. Maybe the NFL just has no statute of limitations?
3. Helmet to wallet
Rams special teamer Chase Reynolds was fined $24,309 for this hit…
— Chase Reynolds (@ChaseReynolds34) November 12, 2016
You may not have been able to tell from that grainy video, but Dwayne Harris did not get disemboweled by Reynolds. In fact, that tackle couldn’t even be called unnecessary roughness. It was, however, called “impermissible use of the helmet.”
The only way that fine would make sense is if the NFL deemed that the wearing of any helmet during football was impermissible, because you don’t need to protect your head, because concussions don’t exist.
2. Putting things in perspective
Josh Brown: admitted to domestic abuse. Fine: $72,058
Vontaze Burfict: does anything over the line. Fine: $75,000
Tom Brady: circumstantial evidence kind of links him to equipment managers who may or may not have removed air from game balls. Fine: $235,294
Good on ya, NFL! Way to set a deterrent for awful behavior, like exploiting the Ideal Gas Law.
1. Corey Moore gets dumb fine, fights the power
The NFL takes its uniform violations seriously. But apparently it takes some less serious than others. After fining Houston’s Corey Moore $6,715 for improperly wearing his socks in the preseason (hold on; it gets stupider), Moore appealed the unfair decision. And the NFL, in all its infinite power, actually backed down!
In the end, Moore only paid a dollar for his supposed infraction, which means either “the Goods” realized it was an absurd fine, or just took pity on a player only making $495,000 a year.