The NFL fined Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard $14,650 each on Tuesday for violating league COVID-19 protocols.
The players, who are both unvaccinated, were reportedly penalized for going to a Halloween party where several teammates were in attendance. The league’s protocols prohibit unvaccinated players from attending gatherings outside of the team facility in a group of more than three players.
The penalty may not seem that major for a player like Rodgers, who signed a four-year, $134 million contract with the Packers back in 2018. The fine seems especially low when put in comparison to some of the other financial penalties the league has dished out this season.
Take Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. The second-year player has been fined twice this season for wearing an untucked jersey and five times in all. His two violations for untucked jerseys have cost him upwards of $20,000, and he will have to pay over $45,000 if he violates the NFL’s rule again.
So how did the NFL arrive at these figures? Here’s a look at how the league penalizes COVID-19 protocol violations versus uniform infractions.
How much are NFL players fined for COVID-19 protocol violations?
Most COVID-19 protocol violations draw a $14,650 fine, according to the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols.
In the case of Rodgers and Lazard, they were fined that amount for “gathering outside of the club facility or team travel in groups of more than three (3) players, Tier 1, Tier 2, and/or Tier 3 Individuals.” The Packers, meanwhile, were fined $300,000 after an NFL review determined that the team should have penalized both players, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
There are a handful of COVID-19 protocol rules that could result in a $50,000 fine for players should they break them:
- For any player:
- Failing or refusing to fully cooperate with an investigation led by the NFL Management Council and/or NFLPA regarding compliance with the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocols. -- One week’s Paragraph 5 or Paragraph 4 (as applicable) salary up to $50,000.
- Refusal to submit to required virus testing under the Screening and Testing Protocol.
- For any player who is not fully vaccinated:
- Gathering in any number for any reason with other players and/or members of the club’s tiered staff at a time when the club is “shut down” due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
How much are NFL players fined for untucked jerseys?
Players are fined $5,150 for their first “uniform violation,” which covers socks, jerseys and undergarments, according to NFL Football Operations. The fine triples with each offense, so a second violation results in a $15,450 penalty.
Lamb was first fined for an untucked jersey during the Cowboys’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 27 and was fined a second time for an untucked jersey against the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 3. A third untucked jersey fine would cost Lamb $46,350 fine.
Other uniform infractions have a $5,150 fine for first-time offenders and $10,300 for second-time offenders, including:
- Foreign substances on body/uniform
- Chin straps/shoulder pads/thigh, knee pads/over built facemask
- Unapproved visor tint or lack of brand marks
The NFL has two additional rules for uniforms that carry heavier fines. Personal messages result in a $10,300 first-time fine and $15,450 second-time fine, while “unauthorized logo/branding or intellectual property” has a $10,300 first-time fine and $20,300 second-time fine.
Can NFL players appeal fines?
A player can schedule a hearing with the NFL over a fine. The case is randomly scheduled to one of the league’s appeal officers, Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, both former players. The officer’s decision is final.
If the discipline is upheld, the league withholds the money from the player’s next check. If the discipline is rescinded, the player will be notified and no money will be taken from the next check.