We got some questions about the rule that limits fines for players like Bears linebacker Jon Bostic, whose salary this season is $405,000 and whose pay was docked $21,000 for a preseason hit. So we decided to seek out the precise wording of the rule.
Here’s the rule, from Article 46 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement:
“On appeal, a player may assert, among other defenses, that any fine should be reduced because it is excessive when compared to the player’s expected earnings for the season in question. However, a fine may be reduced on this basis only if it exceeds 25 percent of one week of a player’s salary for a first offense, and 50 percent of one week of a player’s salary for a second offense. A player may also argue on appeal that the circumstances do not warrant his receiving a fine above the amount stated in the schedule of fines.”
A player’s weekly pay is one-seventeenth of his salary, so for Bostic, his weekly pay is $23,823.53. That means that he can appeal his fine of $21,000 as excessive, because it’s well over 25 percent of his weekly pay. For any player who makes less than $1,428,000, a $21,000 fine would represent more than 25 percent of one week’s salary, and he could therefore appeal it as excessive.