It’s one thing for a team to inform a player of a fine. It’s another thing for the team to actually enforce the fine.
As former Raiders CEO Amy Trask has noted on Twitter, teams often issue the letter without collecting the money in order to reserve their rights regarding potential future discipline. The Raiders apparently weren’t simply reserving their rights.
The $40,000 fine applied to Brown’s exit from camp on August 18, a day after learning that the NFL would not allow him to wear the helmet model of his choosing, a Schutt AiR Advantage, even if he could find one less than 10 years old. That’s the same day G.M. Mike Mayock, who signed the fine letter, stated publicly that it’s time for Brown to be “all out or all in.”
Although Brown returned the next day, he missed a walkthrough practice on August 22, the day of a preseason game in Canada. It’s unclear why Brown skipped the practice, since he had made the trip from Oakland to Winnipeg with the team. The Raiders fined him $13,950 for that infraction.
Regardless, Brown now has $53,950 less than he previously did, for missing a day of training camp and missing a walkthrough practice.
The fact that the Raiders collected on the amount explains his strong public reaction. It also suggests that a good-cop, bad-cop dynamic lingers in Oakland, with coach Jon Gruden keeping the player happy and Mayock keeping him in line.
Or at least trying to.