Jets linebacker Marcus Dowtin is an undrafted rookie who makes the league minimum salary of $390,000, which after federal income tax is taken out works out to less than $15,000 a week. Which means Dowtin was fined more than he got paid for the Jets’ game against the Dolphins.
That’s because Dowtin was fined $15,750 for roughing the passer in that game. The NFL has confirmed that Dowtin was fined because he struck Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore in the head area.
When the appeals process is completed, Dowtin likely won’t actually be fined more than his game check: Players have the opportunity to appeal their fines and argue that the fine is excessive if it represents more than 25 percent of their weekly pay, so Dowtin’s fine will probably end up being reduced by about $10,000 on appeal.
Still, contrasting Dowtin’s fine with Richard Seymour’s $15,750 fine for the same penalty is a reminder that when the NFL fines players the same amount for the same infractions, the impact on the players is not necessarily the same: For Seymour, who has already made tens of millions of dollars in his career and signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract this year, a $15,750 fine isn’t much of a deterrent against roughing the passer again. For Dowtin, who has so far made only about $200,000 in his NFL career, this is a fine that might make him think twice the next time he’s getting close to a quarterback.