Lower-paid players protected from major fines

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Bears linebacker Jon Bostic was fined $21,000 for a hit on Chargers wide receiver Mike Willie, and teammates are already speaking out to complain that Bostic was doing nothing more than playing good, clean physical football.

It’s only minor consolation, but there is one piece of good news for Bostic: He won’t actually get $21,000 taken out of his paycheck.

That’s because Bostic’s salary this season is $405,000, meaning that his 17 weekly paychecks come out to $23,823.53 before taxes. Under NFL rules, players can appeal fines and have them reduced to no more than 25 percent of their weekly pay.

As a practical matter, the most a player making $405,000 a year can be fined for any one hit is $5,955, which is 25 percent of one weekly paycheck. So once Bostic is done with his appeal, his fine will likely be reduced by about $15,000.

Of course, many would argue that Bostic (who wasn’t flagged for the hit) did nothing wrong in the first place, and that on appeal his fine should be reduced to zero.

24 responses to “Lower-paid players protected from major fines

  1. Still don’t understand what rule Bostic broke. If you want to be picky and call it a helmet to helmet shot then that’s one thing, but what about this “lowering of the head” language because Bostic sure didn’t use the “crown” or “very top” of his helmet. And how was the WR defenseless?

  2. It is not about the players hit, or if the player was right or wrong, used his helmet, etc… It is about the NFL office making more money. Lance Briggs had a text book hit last year too, and was flagged and was fined. It is not about what is right, it is about the money.

  3. The fact the NFL had this play on its highlight reel on their own website is the biggest kick in the shorts…..you cant celebrate it and fine the guy. If he did break a rule then the official should be fined for not making the right call. In the end it was a clean solid hit and he got screwed.

  4. This looks like a good clean hit. I don’t know what the NFL offices are looking for.
    I don’t agree with the no flag no foul issue. The referees do miss things. But I have seen this hit quite a few times and it looks clean to me.

  5. That was a vicious hit but I’m not sure how it was illegal. He led with the shoulder and it looked like the receiver instinctively ducked into the blow.

    The way this is going the league might adopt the charging rule from hockey where you just can’t hit people that hard. I’d hate to see it but it seems like that’s what the NFL wants or else hits like Bostic’s would stand.

  6. I didn’t see the play, but wouldn’t players who make less money- trying to make it in the league- attempt bigger hits, knowing that they cannot be fined as much as an established player? Seems like a broken system.

  7. Hell, if that’s the case, he should keep laying the lumber!

    Hard to believe people thought the team that brought us Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary would be questioned about letting Brian Urlacher walk as he didn’t want to accept a $2m salary. He isn’t making that at FoxSports1, that’s for sure.

  8. gf2711 – excellent point. And on top of it, since the maximum fine is tied to the player’s salary, am I right to assume he wouldn’t owe anything if he didn’t make the Bears’ final roster? In that case, fringe players have even more incentive to make a highlight reel.

  9. Goodell needs to go. the NFLPA needs to step up and tell the owners that Goodell has to go. he has made defense a penalty and will fine anyone who play it

  10. I feel bad for defenders regarding the uncertainty over what hit is legal and what isn’t, and when you watch Bostick’s hit full speed it looks clean.

    But did anyone else see the still shot of the hit over at ESPN.com’s NFC North blog entry regarding it?

    His helmet is clearly down and the Chicago “C” logo on his helmet is perpendicular to the ground. The crown of his helmet is contacting the receiver. Based on that photo it seems to be poor tackling form and a justifiable fine.

    gotta keep the head up.

  11. This whole thing is spin control by Goodell and the NFL to show they’re doing something proactive about head injuries.

    I liked former Bears safety Mike Brown’s tweet from earlier today:

    #ThingsTheLeagueWillDoNext: Put safe zones on the field like freeze tag. If the offensive player is in the zone you can’t tackle or hit him!

  12. gf2711,

    far from it. its to attempt to keep percentages on the fines rational. while 21k a week seems like a lot to us, imagine ifbsomeone grabbed your check and tookban extra 25% out. its a hit. guys making that amount are not walking around with fat bank accounts. to put it another way, a 5400 dollar fine to him is 25% of his check for that week. if it was a star player, making 8 million a year, getting a standard 20-25k fine, that would be 5% of his weekly check. so who is really getting screwed. it makes more sense by your logic for darelle revis to headhunt. a 25k fine for him is 2.5% of his weekly check.

    make sense?

  13. Good news for Bostic, but hopefully the remaining fine gets tossed on appeal.

    And if Gary Fencik and Doug Plank played today, they’d never see a paycheck.

  14. The NFL is becoming way to SOFT, Bostic put his helmet in his chest right in the numbers looked real clean to me. whats next there going to get rid of the wide receiver screen? Please stop ruining my favorite sport, baseball is a mess and tarnished, basketball is powder puff soft.

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