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Browns could face grievance for four-figure water bottle fine

Earlier today, we linked to Michael Silver’s story regarding the decision of the Browns to impose a $1,701 fine on a player who failed to pay for a $3 bottle of water at the team hotel.

To the extent that some might think this is a common practice, it isn’t.  We’ve spoken with a source familiar with the practices of multiple NFL teams, and the source is aware of no other team that would fine a player for not settling up on the hotel incidentals.

The source explained that most if not all other NFL teams simply deduct the money from the player’s check.

The source also pointed out that the Browns likely will face a formal grievance, given that the Collective Bargaining Agreement does not specifically authorize the imposition of a fine for such behavior.

Article VIII, Section 1 of the CBA lists several types of conduct for which players may be fined, including the maximum amounts.  And not even Johnnie Cochran could make a compelling case that any of the listed offenses includes failing to pay for food and beverage consumed in a hotel room.

(Some of you have asked about the bizarrely specific amount of the fine.  As best we can tell, the Browns imposed the maximum fine available under one of the categories that permit a fine of $1,500.  The current CBA, which became effective in 2006, allows those amounts to be increased based upon the annual growth in total football revenues, with a maximum increase of ten percent per year.)

So if (when) a grievance is filed, the NFL Management Council will be forced to conjure strategy for supporting the Browns’ decision. 

In the end, they might have to rely on the Chewbacca defense.

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19 Responses to “Browns could face grievance for four-figure water bottle fine”
  1. UFL rules the NFL says: Sep 19, 2009 1:46 PM

    Guy makes a million dollars, steals bottled water.
    Only in the NFL.
    These guys should be cut.
    This league is a haven of criminals.

  2. tom coughlin's coat holder says: Sep 19, 2009 2:02 PM

    it would be nice if someone got on the horn and called the browns to find out how they arrived at this fine,otherwise this is pure bs.

  3. Smoking Joe says: Sep 19, 2009 2:08 PM

    How much should the fine be for stealing?

  4. 980110 says: Sep 19, 2009 2:13 PM

    Yeah, Cleveland should cut a guy for taking bottled water! Are you being sarcastic?
    Anyway, as a Steeler fan, watching Cleveland and Cincinnati constantly shoot themselves in the foot is a beautiful thing. It turns the AFC North into a two team division, and Pittsburgh can usually handle Baltimore. When two teams eliminate themselves before the season even starts, it makes the path to the playoffs much simpler.
    Good Luck

  5. TheGhostofBernieKosar says: Sep 19, 2009 2:21 PM

    mangyna is a nut. if cleveland wins i won’t care anymore.

  6. RexRyan'sStressedLapband says: Sep 19, 2009 2:22 PM

    A lot of comments to the last post (and one here that I see so far) already have this guy pegged as some kind of thief. There is a possibility that he could have forgotten about it, didn’t know (how?), or some other off the wall reason that could make those quick to judge eat crow. I really have a hard time believing that a guy really thought it was worth it to try to “steal” a bottle of water.

  7. wrath4771 says: Sep 19, 2009 2:25 PM

    Damn. As I was rwading the article I was thinking, “They could always use the Chewbacca defense.” Clever, writers, you.

  8. scottlarock78 says: Sep 19, 2009 2:34 PM

    When are you gonna start reporting football? This is bs. I use to come on here to hear the latest news and now all you do is bash the Browns. Talk to your sources and get some real news. Let me know whats going on with practices, whos hurt, whose been playing hard. You do it with every other team why not the browns? Man up Florio

  9. sm2sm2 says: Sep 19, 2009 2:44 PM

    Talk about a tempest in a teapot, who in that incompetent front office still believes orderly deck chairs are any part of the solution to the Brownies successfully sailing the iceberg filled waters of the 2009 NFL season. Dollars to doughnut the bottle of water was either not counted by the hotel until after the player checked out, or more nefariously, it was in one of those automated mini-bars that counts and charges sh*# to your account if you simply touch it.

  10. UFL rules the NFL says: Sep 19, 2009 2:49 PM

    Yeah, Cleveland should cut a guy for taking bottled water! Are you being sarcastic?
    He makes a million dollars a year. If you stole from a grocery store and got caught you would go to jail.
    Why do NFL players get a free pass for criminal behavior.
    Actually, they should be punished severely.
    The NFL mindwashing continues.
    Because a player throws a football , he is allowed to steal, rape, murder, and abuse others.
    Nice.

  11. bearsrule says: Sep 19, 2009 2:52 PM

    There is absolutely no reason why a professional football player should want to play for these morons. Garbage like this will set the franchise back even further. Obviously, I don’t know Mangina and am a Bear fan, but I’d love to throw an illegal helmet to helmet hit on his fat ass. Browns fans, the sooner you start calling for his firing, the sooner it will happen. You will not have a winner with him as the coach.

  12. thehouseofho says: Sep 19, 2009 3:06 PM

    It’s obvious you guys have never stayed in a hotel. The player took the bottled water out of the mini-bar in his room. When you take anything out of the mini-bar in the room, it gets charged to the room and is then added to the total of your bill. You then receive a statement from the hotel a couple of days after you have checked out stating they have charged your card for the incidentals as were a part of their stock check after you have checked out.
    It’s NOT stealing as you uninformed commenters keep calling it. You’re not expected to pay for the water the very moment you take it out of the mini-bar. In fact, you’re not expected to pay for the water until after the hotel takes stock of the mini-bar AFTER you have checked out.
    You all need to shut up until you actually know what you’re talking about.

  13. purple haze harvin says: Sep 19, 2009 3:29 PM

    We are witnessing the dark ages of the the NFL fellas! The No Fun League is becoming such a joke, time after time making unbelievable decisions. Time for the fans and players to take back this league from the assholes who are ruining it. I.E. Roger Goodell!

  14. neomonk says: Sep 19, 2009 3:37 PM

    I think it’s ridiculous that they are charging $3 for a bottle of water. Who are the real criminals here? $3 damn…

  15. SB42everyyear says: Sep 19, 2009 4:31 PM

    @UFL rules the NFL—-So you are equating taking a bottle of water without paying to rape???? Dude, your principles are way out of whack.
    Man-gina is a loser plain and simple. Why does every NFL team think a guy is a genius simple because he was raised by Bill Belichick?
    Count the losers: Man-gina, Romeo Crennel, Al Groh, Nick Saban and Charlie Weis.
    Gee wiz! Intelligence isn’t contagious.

  16. JoeSixPack says: Sep 19, 2009 4:51 PM

    Mangini is actually smart. He learned from Belichick that the path to greatness is to get fired from the Browns first. He’s WAY ahead of Belichick’s pace.
    Come to think of it, maybe Mangini really IS ManGenius… after all, genius is 1% inspriation and 99% persperation… and the fat fink sure does seem to sweat a lot.

  17. UFL rules the NFL says: Sep 19, 2009 5:18 PM

    @UFL rules the NFL—-So you are equating taking a bottle of water without paying to rape???? Dude, your principles are way out of whack.
    Man-gina is a loser plain and simple. Why does every NFL team think a guy is a genius simple because he was raised by Bill Belichick?
    Count the losers: Man-gina, Romeo Crennel, Al Groh, Nick Saban and Charlie Weis.
    Gee wiz! Intelligence isn’t contagious.
    Yes, can I come to your house or work and steal something from you?
    Would you like your lunch or items in your house stolen? How about I come to your residence and steal your soda or beer? You would cry foul.
    Better yet, give me your wallet and let me take some money out of it, only a few bucks of course.
    Why? Because I want too. I am sure you be thrilled to death.
    N0, you would want blood. Stealing is stealing, nobody loves to be ripped off.
    Rape and theft have different penalities, but both are crimes.
    A million dollar making football player stealing bottled water should be expelled.
    BTW nobody steals just one time.

  18. Bob Nelson says: Sep 19, 2009 5:36 PM

    Look stupid lawyers:
    1) Theft is wrong (what a difficult concept for a lawyer to understand).
    2) It reflects badly on a team to have a thief on it.
    3) If there is no rule against it, it is perfectly fine under the CBA.
    4) Most MEN understand you don’t need permission to take action. Especially if the action is not against the rules (most lawyers do understand that).

  19. sim448 says: Sep 19, 2009 5:37 PM

    “why would an 8 foot wookie live on endor? it does not make sense.”

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