Rashean Mathis, the Jaguars’ NFLPA representative, said he doesn’t mind the idea of coach Mike Mularkey threatening a $10,000 fine for players who talk about injuries with the media.
The NFLPA itself isn’t quite ready to go that far.
Mularkey told Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union that any fines had to be approved by the league in advance of being shared with players.
And Mathis said he had no objections.
“This is one rule,” the veteran cornerback said. “The big picture fine, we’re not concerned about that as a player standpoint. We’re supporting the coach and that’s what it’s all about. It’s nothing but positive things coming from, we like his attitude, we like how he’s being honest with us. I think that’s the big picture. We have his back because we know he has ours at the end of the road.”
For many players, not having to talk about anything is a welcome reprieve. In a battle of team vs. media, media always loses.
But Mathis is also competing for a starting job with the Jaguars, and whether he wins it is a decision which will be made by Mularkey. Mathis signed a one-year contract with the Jags with a maximum value of $5 million, receiving a $1 million signing bonus, with a $950,000 base salary.
The other $3.05 million is available in incentives based partially on playing time.
Whether that impacts his feelings about the fine or not, he clearly has reasons to support Mularkey’s policies.
The problem is, the NFLPA might not share his support.
A union source told PFT they were “obviously looking into it,” zeroing in on the CBA language that refers to “reasonable Club rules.”
If the union deems the rule or the fine “unreasonable,” then there’s an issue.
And that may be the case whether Mathis wants to fight it or not.