St. Brown was fined $43,709 for a block thrown against the Chicago Bears in his team’s Week 11 win, drawing some strong pushback from across the NFL. Brown spoke out about the fine this week, saying he planned to appeal to the league to lower the amount.
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The league has placed a stronger emphasis on enforcing player safety, which includes more transparency this season on the fines handed out to players. Fines are published every Saturday, and Brown’s was the largest of all those announced by the league on November 25.
Speaking to reporters on November 30, St. Brown acknowledged that he needed to adjust his blocking to ensure that he was not making contact with the defender’s head.
“It is what it is. It is a lot of money,” he said, via SI.com. “I guess, you know, the way I block wasn’t legal. They said it was forceful contact to the head, so I guess I’ve just got to do better.”
But St. Brown added that it was difficult for players to stay completely within the rules, adding that he planned to file an appeal on the amount of his fine.
“I mean, yeah, I think so. At the end of the day, I feel like there’s only so much we can do as players,” St. Brown said. “I mean, we can speak up about it, but there’s still rules that have to be followed in the game and we’ve got to try our best to follow those. But, I mean, I don’t know, I feel like $43,000 for what I did was quite a lot. I’m gonna appeal it. We’ll see how it goes.”
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The fine drew some major pushback at the time, as St. Brown only appeared to make light contact with the defender on the play. Former NFL star J.J. Watt took to social media to share his displeasure, saying the league was “stealing” money from St. Brown.
“Here we go again… General rule of thumb: If you have to watch the video multiple times to try figuring out which person did something wrong and you still can’t figure it out, we probably shouldn’t be taking $43,709 from someone,” Watt wrote on X, formerly know as Twitter. “This. Is. Stealing. Money.”
St. Brown initially criticized the amount, taking to X to share how much it would take out of his paycheck: “Almost 5% of my salary. I’m hurting”
Jeremy Reisman of SB Nation’s Pride of Detroit noted that St. Brown is still in the third year of his rookie contract, with a total salary of $940,000 this year.
“And while in the long run, St. Brown is going to get paid and this will only be a drop in the bucket, it speaks to a larger point for players who will not get massive extensions and their entire careers may be played on cheap rookie deals,” Reisman wrote. “These types of fines are not insignificant to those players.”