NFL fines Cardinals’ Ricky Lumpkin $21,000 for hit on Matt Leinart


Cardinals defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin spent last season on the practice squad and is just hoping to make the 53-man roster as a minimum-salary player this season. Which means $21,000 is a lot of money to Lumpkin.

So it’s going to be painful for Lumpkin that he was fined $21,000 for roughing the passer in last week’s preseason game against the Raiders. Lumpkin struck Raiders quarterback Matt Leinart in the head and neck area, and Leinart suffered a finger injury when he fell and had to leave the game.

The rules are the rules, and Lumpkin did commit a penalty, but the rules make player fines a lot more severe for players like Lumpkin than for the NFL’s highest-paid players. A $21,000 fine will be the standard this season for roughing the passer, and it will be the same for every player, regardless of whether he makes the rookie minimum of $390,000 or whether he has a contract that guarantees him tens of millions of dollars.

Preseason fines aren’t actually collected unless the player makes the regular-season roster. For Lumpkin, the collection of the $21,000 will come in installments, because if he makes the team his weekly paychecks will be less than $21,000 after taxes. Lumpkin also has the ability to appeal his fine as excessive because it represents more than 25 percent of his weekly pay. But it seems unfair to fine a guy even 25 percent of his weekly pay in the first place, especially when it’s the preseason and he hasn’t started earning that weekly pay yet. A $21,000 fine is pocket change to some NFL players, but it’s a small fortune to Lumpkin.

18 responses to “NFL fines Cardinals’ Ricky Lumpkin $21,000 for hit on Matt Leinart

  1. That’s a well deserved fine, he let his team down with that one.

    It was way too obvious and had to be called.

  2. There should be a progressive fine structure similar to tax rates. kam chancellor had the same issue last year, making about the minimum and getting multiple fines making it look at one point he might play a season for free. It’s also positionally biased. Linebackers and safeties are the positions most likely to be in position to hit offensive players (who nearly never get fined) with hits that can draw a fine.

  3. The nfl needs to change their fine system to a percentage of the players cap hit. this way guys like a man named sue will get a meaningful fine when he continues to crush qbs.

  4. Then fine players a percentage of their salary like taxes, complete with tiers. The more you make, the more you pay, unless you make more money than a small city, in which case you might not have to pay anything because that’s the way this whole thing works. Am I right? Or am I right?

  5. Yeah, he only makes $390K a yr! Wow, he’s a step away from welfare!! So, don’t make the dumbass hit, dumbass! Installments are fine w/me. But, if anything I’d scale the fines up for the mega-stars. Take away some bling and stomping on heads, for instance, might get some forethought.

  6. What about the guy who took that vicious hit? What if he got seriously hurt.

    If he doesn’t wanna get fined, then maybe he shouldn’t be head hunting. That was a dirty play and he deserves it.

  7. One thing wrong with our correspondent’s theory: if fringe players making the league minimum are only fined an amount proportionate to their salary, what’s to say they don’t unload on any player – at any time – and risk the “reduced” fine? Moreover, coaches could (would) make situational substitutions with lower salaried “hit men,” if you will, and pay their fines if/when an illegal hit occurs.

    As for Leinart: I lived in AZ during his so-called “franchise QB” era; he’s more interested in being an NFL QB than playing quarterback in the NFL. With Pete Carroll in Seattle, the Seahawks’ job was his too lose two years ago, but Leinart was more content holding a clipboard in Houston. He’s soft, injury prone, and a flat-out loser.

  8. All you dang liberals are destroying my country. A fine is a fine. Can I have a discount on my parking ticket because Bill Gates makes a few billion more than me?

  9. Billmead; keep the conservative/liberal crap in your man pleaser and out of PFT. I get enough from CNN! As for the fine, I’m out in Phoenix taking up a collection to help pay it! I believe that’ve fine money is donated to various NFL charities and watching Matt get lit up was well worth it. Everyone wins! 😀

  10. I don’t care if the guy just started to beat the crap out of the QB 21000 is a TON of money to be fined. Thats an excessive amount of money lost to a stupid game!

  11. I’m personally tired of seeing every player who get’s flagged get fined later. What happened when they only fined the worst stuff, like Suh suplexing Delhomme or any of that mongoloid James Harrison’s hits?

  12. Fine! It’s not a tax, it’s a fine. Pay the fine if you commit the crime; pay the tax later.

  13. It does make you wonder… did someone in the Cardinals locker room offer up a “bounty” to make sure Matt Leinart did not “light”up his ex-team the Cardinals?

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