The NFL has made a habit of taking money from its players for various fines, some of which are ridiculous, and players are starting to fight back.
The biggest fine from Week 9 was a questionable one. Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs had a run last week that looked like pretty much any other run in which a back initiates contact. And the NFL fined him $21,855 for it.
It's hard to see this as anything but a football play, and at worst, it's not malicious and certainly not worth almost $22,000 in fines. Jacobs wasn't happy.
— Josh Jacobs (@iAM_JoshJacobs) November 11, 2023
Jacobs' comment led to others chiming in on the absurdity that Jacobs' run could be seen as so egregious by the NFL that they'd fine him so much. The harshest words came from recently retired NFL star J.J. Watt, who is now on the CBS set offering analysis. He emphasized in his tweet that the NFL is "STEALING MONEY" from its players for playing football. It's easy to see why players, current and former, would feel that way.
We’re gonna have an honest conversation tomorrow on our CBS pre-game show about these fines…
I’m all for making the game safer, I’m all for fining plays that are intentfully malicious, I’m all for protecting players.
But we are STEALING MONEY from players for playing football. https://t.co/0Z7oTDFk8l
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) November 11, 2023
The NFL has gotten out of control with its fines, whether it's five figures for uniform violations or celebrations they see as taunting. Another fine from Week 9 was Josh Allen getting docked $10,927 for a playful point at a defender he juked before a touchdown.
The NFL fined #Bills QB Josh Allen $10,927 for unsportsmanlike conduct — pointing at a defender on his touchdown run last week against the #Bengals.
Allen was also flagged, and now gets a fine on top of it. pic.twitter.com/6UjhjKcUlN
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 11, 2023
A five-figure fine for that is ridiculous.
Last week, Chicago Bears running back D'Onta Foreman was fined more than $43,000 for lowering his head before contact. Foreman is on a one-year, $2 million deal. While some players, like Allen and Jacobs, are making well into eight figures (how much a player makes doesn't make the NFL's egregious fines OK), the massive fine is a significant part of Foreman's earnings this season.
Bears RB D'Onta Foreman was fined $43,709 for this play, which the league deemed an "impermissible use of the helmet/launching," and it's his second offense, hence the hefty fine. pic.twitter.com/3l6rSHjkOs
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) November 5, 2023
The NFL doesn't seem to have a lot of remorse in the exorbitant amount of fines that are being given out this season. Maybe voices like Jacobs and Watt start to bring attention to the issue and that leads to the NFL being held accountable.