Same as Suh: Jags’ Mike Lockley fined $20,000

Ndamukong Suh isn’t the only player who got a $20,000 fine today for an illegal hit during his team’s preseason opener.

Mike Lockley, a rookie linebacker for the Jaguars, has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for a hit on Patriots wide receiver Taylor Price in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s preseason game.

Both Suh and Lockley were called for personal fouls after engaging in the kinds of dangerous hits that the NFL is trying to reduce. So it makes sense that they were both fined.

But the NFL fining Suh and Lockley the same amount is, frankly, ridiculous. Lockley is an undrafted rookie just hoping to make the Jaguars’ regular-season roster at the league-minimum salary of $375,000, which comes out to $22,000 a week for the 17 weeks of the regular season. The league has effectively docked Lockley a full game check.

Suh, on the other hand, will make $60 million over the five-year contract he signed with the Lions last year. The total value of Suh’s contract works out to more than $700,000 a week, so a $20,000 fine is chump change to him.

The good news for the Lockley is that the NFL won’t fine him unless he actually makes a roster and has a paycheck to dock. But if the purpose of a fine is to act as an incentive not to commit penalties, it’s foolish for the NFL to treat players equally when fines are handed down, even though the impact of those fines will be anything but equal.

A much better policy would be to fine players a certain percentage of their salary-cap number. Fining players 1 percent of their cap numbers would mean a fine of around $3,750 for Lockley, and a fine of around $120,000 for Suh.

Considering that Suh was unhappy with his $20,000 fine, you can bet he’d be mad enough to rip someone’s head off if he got fined $120,000. But that would be fairer than fining minimum-salary scrubs like Lockley the same amount as highly paid stars like Suh.

66 responses to “Same as Suh: Jags’ Mike Lockley fined $20,000

  1. ’bout time! In watching these plays for Suh and Lockley it was so blatantly obvious neither even made an attempt to grab the other players’ yellow flag! Total disregard to the game. What do they thing this is tackle football?

  2. yeah but suh is the strongest man ever. why would the nfl fine a weakling the same amount? oh, i mean they only fine suh because he’s such a big strong brute that they don’t understand down at the league office…

  3. The league really should address the amount guys get fined as to how much they make. This guy is gonna end up paying to play at the rate they’re going. I’d rather they not make the game softer and let some of this stuff go as part of what happens when you play a game as physical as football, but I guess it wouldn’t be the NFL if they didn’t take the fun out of it now would it?

  4. this is just d@mn frustrating as a fan…..suh is a clean player and that hit was just unfortuante but entertaining, he is a entertainer , a player and he did his job…..goodell and posie need to calm down and find ways or instruments to eliminate injuries not JUST fine everyone and create football into touch football….

  5. Didn’t see the hit. But ill ignore the sissification of the NFL for a second and say that if you’re going to fine players for hits:

    1. I don’t disagree with a $20,000 fine for a minimum salary

    2. But, it has to be proportionate. If this is the percentage the league chose, Suh should be fined the same percentage because 20K doesn’t put a dent in his pocket.

  6. “Wahhhhh!!! It isn’t fair! It isn’t fair!” The NFLPA wouldn’t agree to a % fine. It would result in too much for an established star, and too little for a scrub or most rookies ( under the new system). Does anyone actually think the NFL would ever fine a player $120,000 for a hit unless it resulted in serious injury? Not even most fans would agree. Besides, the money is secondary to getting a bad reputation as a dirty player. That is what offends the players the most.

  7. this is getting ridiculous.. Goodell and his clowns need to go away.. game is seriously becoming a joke.. thumbs down if your a sissy boy

  8. How in the world can you justify different fines, for the same infraction, based on salary? The punishment should be the punishment. Period. Can you imagine society operating like that? “Do you know why I pulled you over sir? – you were doing 100 mph in a 55 mph zone. Oh, you’re unemployed? Sorry for the inconvenience, have a nice day.”

  9. Under what backwards logic should Suh have a stiffer punishment for an equivalent penalty just because he makes more money? Yeah, I get it, the same misguided backwards logic that the majority of our country’s population has.

  10. Wow Michael – Is that simple whacked reasoning… or just Lion hating? Rick Reilly would not approve.

    Basically the price of a fine should be predicated on how much your able to pay??? What???

    So you think…..
    -a speeding ticket should cost a rich guy more than a laborer?
    -a Good Times Mighty Deluxe with cheese should be priced based on your ability to pay?
    -the same gas pumped into a BMW should be more expensive than for a Ford truck?
    -Suh should pay MORE because he’s a better talent, more valuable to his team and the NFL, and makes more money????

    That’s an interesting world you’re proposing…would you want to live there and by those standards?

  11. Play wasn’t even dirty. He just hit the receiver coming across the middle. I think it’s ridiculous the way the league is protecting receivers. What the hell do you want him to do? Just stand there and let him catch it? smh

  12. I think the 1% idea makes sense. Increase the fines by an additional .5% and start suspending on the third violation without exception. Make all fines known the day after the game (not midweek) and give the player the next day to ask for an appeal. The appeal should be settled the following day. No more BS about judging reactions.

    They should fine the teams an equal amount also. Pretty soon the owners will start telling the coaches to fix the problem and all that will be left are the inadvertant/unavoidable instances.

    For that to be effective they need to make damn sure the fine is warranted and not some PC reaction to a hit that sounds/looks hard. Whether or not a player gets hurt should have no bearing on the legality of the hit, but they reacted badly to several “legal” hits last year.

  13. Damn. Can’t believe it, but I agree with going to a salary percentage for NFL fines, not just a straight dollar amount. But please, don’t use the same logic for traffic tickets!

  14. It’s criminal that this guy was fined the same amount as Suh. Not only does Lockley make chump change, compared to Suh, but Suh is a repeat offender. This guy is playing in his first preseason game. This is awful.

  15. Lockley also did it twice. He had a blind-side helmet-to-helmet hit on Christian Cox on a kickoff that wasn’t returned.

    I’m glad he won’t be getting anything week 1, whether he’s on a team or not.

  16. Nah horrible idea. More incentive for teams for fudge cap numbers? No. The fine shouldn’t depend on your cap number but on your offense. Otherwise you’ll just be giving low-cap-number players carte blanche to go nuts.

  17. I Did not see this particular hit. I have seen Suh’s hits and I loved every last one of them.
    This is football, if you people want to watch a boring non-contact sport then try baseball, golf, curling ( you know the so called Olympic sport where people use brooms on ice to move some giant freaking puck. )
    I am not a Lions fan however if Suh keeps dominating the way he does I will become one.

    P.S If anyone does not like the physicality of the sport I have a novel idea DON’T WATCH.

    Football has the highest ratings for a reason, other sports do not for a reason.

  18. I dont like that everyone should be fined the same. But I dont think Lockley should have been fined anywhere near as much as Suh seeing that Suh is a multiple time offender and this was Lockley’s first offense. I hope the people who review the fines Goodell gives out see that and greatly reduce the amount Lockley will be forced to pay if he makes the team.

  19. Your percentage plan is a good idea but what keeps teams from putting low salary guys in there and telling them to.go for the killshot?

  20. I love my Browns, but I’d rather watch a big time college game any day, that to watch an NFL game that my team isn’t playing in. I knew when Peyton Manning got his helmet grazed by a rushing defensive end and that was a 15yd penalty, the league went soft.

  21. If the amount of the fine is to act as a deterrent, then I think it should be set up on a scale. Somehow .oo8 of player A does not deter him as much as 8% of player B. This needs to be addressed.

  22. Don’t tell Michael David Smith (fyi, serial killers use their middle name, just sayin’) that this is a socialistic theory he’s spewing. Don’t point out that what he’s saying is that if he and I both get a speeding ticket for going 10mph over his should be more costly than mine. He also doesn’t like being told this is how it works in the world we live in as opposed to his lala land!

    If you do these things, he’ll delete your post!!! Let’s see how long this one gets to stay up for.

  23. These meatheads make me laugh.

    The NFL is soft! They are ruining the game! Why not just play flag football!

    Smash, kill, demolish!

  24. Christian Cox was just waived/injured. He can thank Lockley for ruining his chance of making the roster.

  25. Price hasn’t practiced since that cheap hit, Lockley is a scumbag and deserves his $20k fine for being a total idiot

  26. If the NFL is using fines as a strategy to discourage hard hits it clearly hasn’t worked. The fact that players have been racking up these fines since last season and continue to hit hard means the NFL should maybe change it’s strategy. My suggestion: just let em’ play!

  27. The NFL should suspend Suh for the opening game as punishment for saying he will not follow the rules on hits.

    Fining him isn’t going to make a difference. The team will be pissed if he’s unable to play and they will put a stop to his actions.

  28. a qb may not go down right away with a weak hit like the initial hit by suh, but that doesn’t mean you can throw them down after their forward progress is stopped.

  29. I think the fines should be a combination of things.

    – A percentage of their salary.

    – The importance of both players involved. That should account for the low-pay guy headhunting.

    – If the inflicted player misses any game time. The giver should miss double the amount of time. If it is career-ending, set a limit.

    – Teams should be fined the same as the player, but with an extra zero.

  30. @finfan – THAT’s exactly the problem.

    Is it % of base salary OR % of base salary + % potential bonus OR % base salary + % actual earned bonus OR % of severity OR % of actual damage in lieu of appearance OR % perception of the incident + % for repeat offender OR % of potential damage + % of player lost revenue / number of games of the remaining season for both players… OR should we start using a modified richtor scale to measure tremors of players hitting the ground or velocity and impact meters?

    For Footballs sake… c’mon, where does it end?

    I can’t stand watching as people try to legislate every facet of something like this in an attempt to reach some fantasy level playing field.
    Is this NFL Communism?

    Lifes not fair – we do the best we can with what we have.

    PS – it wasn’t a bad hit AT ALL… I say that as a truly impartial Lions fan.

  31. You can’t fine a player $120,000 for a late hit, that’s ridiculous. If fines aren’t having the required effect on players with high salaries, try suspensions instead.

  32. For all of the people who are saying the fines should be equivalent for both players:

    We have a system currently in place, it is called taxes. The rich do pay more (surprising, right?) because they make more. The fines should follow a similar example. When it comes to speeding tickets (an example previously mentioned), it does not take away ONE SIXTEENTH of your salary, even if you make minimum wage. Players should be fined according to a percentage of their salary, among other things, to make the situation fair to all.

  33. I find it hilarious that people can’t understand why a player who makes more money should be fined more than one who makes less. This has nothing to do with cheeseburgers or gas for their bmw. The fine is supposed to be a deterrent. It can’t be a deterrent if the player can laugh it off.

    Same goes for rich people and speeding tickets. Why stop speeding if it is a $300 fine? No reason. This is what jail is for.

  34. The comments about the ‘sissyfication’ of the NFL show how ignorant those same commenters are about the physicality of this game. So easy for you to say that when you’re not the one receiving a career and potentially life-altering hit and when you’re not the person paying that quarterback $15,000,000 a year, injured or not.

  35. The people who decry NFL’s penalizing blatant hits, are simply there to see people get seriously injured, and really, they should just be ignored. It’s not their bodies, ruined for the rest of their lives, so they could care less.

  36. what is the point of having a defense on the field? every tackle is now scrutinized. most of these helmet to helmet hits are not because of the defense. receivers need to learn to keep their heads up and take the hits. qb’s can’t even get hit hard now. qb’s and receivers are so over protected that hits that were celebrated on ESPN’s “Jacked Up” we now deemed unnecessary.

  37. Lockley’s a good kid who will probably be playing football in Canada or getting a real job in a few months. This is actually pretty ridiculous.

  38. If lockley does not make the team, will the NFL put a lien on his future income to collect said 20K fine?

  39. Shame for Lockley! I didn’t see the hit, but damn it makes me sick that every week we are going to see multiple fines for hits that we as fans love to see. Watch water polo if you don’t like the contact in football. Give me a break!!!!

  40. mornelithe says:
    Aug 18, 2011 2:08 AM
    The people who decry NFL’s penalizing blatant hits, are simply there to see people get seriously injured, and really, they should just be ignored. It’s not their bodies, ruined for the rest of their lives, so they could care less.


    Horsecrap. Nobody wants to see someone else get hurt. People get hurt playing football without even getting hit. Should we just outlaw the sport?

    Some points to consider….

    1. These guys get paid more than most people. Even the rookie minimum is well above the nations average income level.

    2. To my knowledge, nobody is holding a gun to their heads and making them play in the NFL. They know the risks, risks THEY are willing to accept in exchange for a healthy paycheck and a chance to win a Super Bowl.

    3. Peoples bodies get ruined in many other professions, without those folks getting near the compensation football players do. Where is your concern and compassion for them?

    4. Shut up already….

  41. @presidentjesus – more government, more government, more government…

    I have a NOVEL idea… if you’re making MINIMUM wage, be much more careful NOT to get fined??? Why do you need a controlled welfare program for NFL players?

    Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay the FINE!!!
    Do the crime and get the fine – don’t WHINE!!!

    Next you people will say that jail terms should be predicated on age… when commiting the same crime, a younger convict should have a longer term than an older one, because the younger is more able to ‘pay’.

    The logic not only escapes me, it’s ludicrous.

  42. Percentage for fines seems reasonable…the major point here should be that the ball was still in play, and that hit was essentially a block. Just like a tipped pass = no pass interference. Now was it helmet to helmet? Maybe, but how do you fine a guy a game plus for one hit?

  43. Most of the defensive players we celebrate as the best to ever play the game (Butkus, LT, Lambert, Lott, Reggie White, Joe Green, etc.) would be vilified as “dirty” and fined on a regular basis if they played today.

  44. stuartscottslefteye says:
    Aug 17, 2011 9:12 PM
    How in the world can you justify different fines, for the same infraction, based on salary? The punishment should be the punishment. Period. Can you imagine society operating like that? “Do you know why I pulled you over sir? – you were doing 100 mph in a 55 mph zone. Oh, you’re unemployed? Sorry for the inconvenience, have a nice day.”


    So I guess it’s safe to assume that you are ignorant of the fact that this is how traffic fines actually are levied in Norway.

    Why should a rich person be allowed to speed whenever he wants just because he can pay the fine with pocket change, whereas a poor person that has a lapse in judgement could be potentially bankrupted by the same fine? Making the punishment fit the crime means that a fine must be proportional to an individual’s income. Otherwise, it is a laughable slap on the wrist in one instance, and an eggregious miscarriage of justice in another.

  45. @ m2karateman:

    Semantics, you’re trying to justify illegal, unnecessary, and dangerous hits, just because people get hurt sometimes. Should we outlaw all movement, because there’s a chance you could get hit by a bus walking down the street?

    1. Ahh, so it isn’t about you wanting to see them hurt, it’s more about you being jealous that they get paid more than you do, and you want to see them pay for that. Gotcha. Real stand-up logic you have there.

    2. There are risks in everything, Football is no different. Does that mean that once the play is over, the ball is out of X persons hands, there should be a free for all, where any kind of contact is permissible? Technically speaking, the hits Suh and Lockley laid down, weren’t even part of the game.

    3. Who said I didn’t have compassion for them? This is a discussion about football, so maybe that’s why we’re not discussing other injuries in other daily activities/sports/jobs. I know it’s difficult, but try to remain focused on the issue at hand.

    4. Make me. Bottom line, they got fined, rightfully so. And no matter how much jealousy or anger you have towards it, is going to change it. I win, you lose.

  46. @elyasm – we’re not in Norway…. but your analogy shows you don’t understand the legal system or NFL either.

    If you keep getting speeding tickets, the fines are escalated and you eventually lose your license.

    If you continue to get fined in the NFL, the fines are escalated and eventually you can be suspended.

    That’s what we commonly refer to as… justice. No Communist ‘wage scale’ penalties required.

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