Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler received a $10,000 fine for taunting Minnesota Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson in retaliation for what Cutler felt was a late hit. On the play, Cutler received a 15-yard penalty for taunting after tossing the football towards Jefferson after a tangle out of bounds.
Quite frankly, it was the right call on the penalty but the fine seems way out of line. I could understand if Cutler whipped the ball at his head, but he tossed the ball towards the defender. Basically, if I am to understand the fine system in the NFL, kicking a guy in the groin (see Ndamukong Suh) costs you $30,000 after other episodes, so how can a small toss of the football cost you $20,000 less? Taking out a starting quarterback (see Tim Dobbins) also has the same $30,000 price tag.
I could only imagine if Cutler did something egregious. Then the fine might be a year’s salary or a lifetime suspension from the league. It is one thing to be unpopular with the media, but it appears that Cutler has met the wrath of the NFL offices. I really hope he appeals this fine to hear the arbitrator laugh at this ridiculous gesture by the league.
When the NFL actually gets serious about protecting players, then these types of fines would seem warranted. But until that day comes, this fine is a joke.
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