Freeney got nailed for his comments on the officiating during the Colts-Chargers game. In a profanity-laced post-game interview with Yahoo! Sports, he mentioned several calls in overtime, which he felt led to a Colts loss.
"Those were the worst (expletive) calls I've seen in a long time. To have a game of that magnitude taken out of your hands, it's just disgusting. It's not like they made one (expletive) bad call -- it's three calls, in overtime."
For that, Freeney will part with more money than I averaged per year in 5 years in the military. Note to self: Do not complain about NFL officiating. Other note to self: Stay out of the military.
Dockett's $20K punishment came after he excessively celebrated a touchdown against the Falcons. Personally, I think the ref should have been docked a paycheck or two for practically molesting Dockett, but that's not on the NFL's priority list.
This raises an interesting point. How does the NFL decide what should be fined and what shouldn't, and how much each infraction is worth? It's a puzzling idea, because there really doesn't seem to be a whole lot of logic behind it. Here are some of the notable fines levied against players in the past year or so:
- Albert Haynesworth, $5,000 for an "unnecessary hit" on Philip Rivers
- Vince Young, $7,500 for throwing a ball at the feet of an opposing player after a play
- Vince Wilfork, there are several here:
- $12,500 for a low, late hit on J.P. Losman
- $5,000 for a late hit on Jason Witten
- $15,000 for poking his finger inside Brandon Jacobs' face mask
- $5,000 for grabbing Michael Turners's face mask
- Travis Johnson, $5,000 for a late hit on Bryan Fletcher
- Kris Jenkins, $7,500 for a late hit on Peyton Manning
- Drayton Florence, $15,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Matt Schaub
- Cortland Finnegan, $25,000 for 2 incidents in one game
- A helmet to helmet hit on Schaub
- Spearing Owen Daniels
- Wes Welker, $10,000 for making a snow angel
- Some Steelers players, which prompted Troy Polamalu to observe that perhaps the NFL was giving out fines to make a few extra dollars, not because it had anything to do with player safety. Mr. Polamalu might have an excellent point, here. Look at some of the fines he was talking about:
- Hines Ward, $5,000 for stepping over Corey Ivy
- Ward, $10,000 for a block on a running play. Ward didn't receive a penalty for either of the plays during the game, so obviously the referees didn't feel that either of them were all that bad.
- James Harrison, $20,000 for criticizing officiating
- Ryan Clark, $7,500 for unnecessary roughness - a late hit
- Nate Washington, $7,500 for taunting
- LaMarr Woodley, $10,000 for sacking Jason Campbell "in an intimidating manner." Seriously.
- Ryan Clark, $5,000 for etching "21" on his eye black, in honor of Sean Taylor
- During the Tampa Bay vs Chicago game in week 3:
- Jamar Williams, $7,500 for taunting
- Jeremy Trueblood, $5,000 for throwing punches
- Charles Tillman, $5,000 also for throwing punches.
So what we've learned from the NFL fines system is this:
Even if the referees think it's ok, you can get fined for it. Dropping a ball at your opponents feet is worse than a late hit, and making a snow angel is even worse than that. Taunting is worse than punching, criticizing poor officiating is worse than trying to decapitate someone, and wearing the wrong cap to a press conference is simply unforgivable.
Glad we got that straightened out.
NFL Fines Darnell Dockett, Dwight Freeney $20,000 for Two Very Different Transgressions [Fanhouse]