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More on the CBA rule on excessive fines for low-paid players

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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.

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15 Responses to “More on the CBA rule on excessive fines for low-paid players”
  1. j0esixpack says: Aug 22, 2013 11:58 AM

    So since Roger Goodell earns $30 million a year, does this mean that when he takes actions “detrimental to the health of the league” by creating unnecessary firestorms in Bountygate and Spygate, he should be fined several million?

  2. gallaghedj311 says: Aug 22, 2013 12:00 PM

    Always wondered about this. Thanks for educating me MDS!

  3. dclogicatlast says: Aug 22, 2013 12:09 PM

    Was a clean hit. Sad this is starting already.

  4. nebster21 says: Aug 22, 2013 12:17 PM

    IF they wanted it to be fair they would do fines based on percentages instead of an amount.

  5. jn213 says: Aug 22, 2013 12:21 PM

    Why not save time and money by making the fine 10, 20, 30 % of 1 week salary instead of throwing out a number to see if it sticks. I know that might make a NFL and union attorney expendable but it makes sense.

  6. nebster21 says: Aug 22, 2013 12:21 PM

    If you want to give an interesting story how about telling us how players file fines to the IRS. Do they subract that from their pay, is it considered a donation , is it a business expense, or is it just considered spent money.

  7. earpaniac says: Aug 22, 2013 12:27 PM

    Hopefully he appeals it. Not only was it excessive, it wasn’t even necessary. I still think it was a clean hit. At this rate they will be playing flag football in 10 years.

  8. butkusrules says: Aug 22, 2013 12:32 PM

    The NFL cites the rule that applies to a hit on a “Defenseless player”. The player caught the ball, and made 2 plus steps and was advancing up field. Under their interpretation, EVERY PLAYER with the ball advancing is a defenseless player. This game sucks now.

  9. godofwine330 says: Aug 22, 2013 12:45 PM

    I still say that fines should be for egregious things like Haynesworth stomping on someone’s head and swinging a helmet at someone, not for bang, bang football plays. If a player is doing soemthing all of the time it should be warning, warning, small fine, then bigger fine then larger fine then big $25K fines – not just hey, here’s a $21K fine off rip.

  10. chi01town says: Aug 22, 2013 12:46 PM

    The NFLPA should talk to owners about getting rid of Goodell.. or getting rid of defense. Under goodell ANY AND ALL DEFENSE IS A PENALTY AND A FINE. this bum has to go before he destroy Football

  11. illiniftw says: Aug 22, 2013 1:04 PM

    The worst part to me is that the NFL markets it as a “spectacular” hit, then fines him the next day

  12. skinsfanwill says: Aug 22, 2013 1:24 PM

    So why isn’t the fine a percentage instead of a set dollar amount. I guess that would make too much damn sense. Just make the fine 25% and call it a day.

  13. FinFan68 says: Aug 22, 2013 1:40 PM

    skinsfanwill says:
    Aug 22, 2013 1:24 PM
    So why isn’t the fine a percentage instead of a set dollar amount. I guess that would make too much damn sense. Just make the fine 25% and call it a day.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    As soon as they do that, the complaints will shift to excessive dollar amounts for fines against the superstars. A uniform violation on a starting QB could easily get up to $100k at only 10% of a game check.

    There is also the issue of how the money is paid for salary cap manipulation. (Huge bonus with minimal base pay, etc.)

  14. nejerseygirl says: Aug 22, 2013 1:52 PM

    FinFan68 says:
    Aug 22, 2013 1:40 PM

    skinsfanwill says:
    Aug 22, 2013 1:24 PM
    So why isn’t the fine a percentage instead of a set dollar amount. I guess that would make too much damn sense. Just make the fine 25% and call it a day.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    As soon as they do that, the complaints will shift to excessive dollar amounts for fines against the superstars. A uniform violation on a starting QB could easily get up to $100k at only 10% of a game check.

    There is also the issue of how the money is paid for salary cap manipulation. (Huge bonus with minimal base pay, etc.)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ok, so then say that the fine is “25% of one week’s salary, unless a player makes more than _______, which will result in a $21,000 fine,” or something to that effect.

  15. orivar says: Aug 22, 2013 2:39 PM

    James Harrison:” I’ve lowered my target, now I hit guys in the knees”

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