Eagles Esoterica: NFL fine horror stories, from grandma remarks to socks — and more socks

According to the NFL, about $4 million has been raised to assist former players through the NFL Foundation since 2011. ‘Tis the season for giving.


Bo Wulf: Do you have a story of the worst fine you got from the league or one you didn’t think you deserved?

Haason Reddick: Crazy, I’ve never been fined.

Wulf: You’ve never been fined?

Reddick: Never for, like, something I didn’t deserve. I was fined once for a fight, but that was it.

Wulf: Do you know any stories of teammates getting bad ones?

Reddick: I just know a lot of guys get fined for uniform reasons. You know what I’m saying? If they’re not complacent with uniform rules. That’s about it.


Wulf: Do you have a story of the worst fine you’ve gotten from the league or one you didn’t think you deserved?

Javon Hargrave: My rookie year, horse collar.

Wulf: OK.

Hargrave: I had chased down a dude and it was like 40 yards, was just trying to grab on and put my hand on it. Jumped on his legs. And it was a horse collar.

Wulf: That’s what you get for hustling 40 yards downfield.

Hargrave: It was my rookie year too, so I was hurting. I didn’t even know that was a thing. That kind of hurt me.


Wulf: BG, do you have a story of the worst fine you’ve gotten from the league? Or one that pissed you off?

Brandon Graham: Dang! Uh, you know what? Damn, that’s a good one. Who’d I get? I think I got a damn, what’s-his-name fine, but they took it away. A uniform fine. Because something came up. And I’m like, “What?” Like, I can’t control that! Like, that’s part of the game.

Wulf: Like, something came off?

Graham: Something came, I forget what happened. I don’t think I had enough black in my sock or something like that. I think I had a strip of black in my sock and it kind of came off because it was just tape. Big-ass fine, but they took it away.

Wulf: OK.

Graham: It was like, “Man, it’s right there, you see it in the picture.”


Wulf: Curious if you have any stories of a fine from the league that you didn’t deserve or a fine from a teammate that was famous, or anything like that?

James Bradberry: Mmmmmmmmmmmm. I personally haven’t been fined yet.

Wulf: Never? All right, we’ll knock on wood for that.

Bradberry: But I mean I had a teammate fined for — he wasn’t actually mic’d up, but somebody else was mic’d up and he said something.

Wulf: Oh, really?

Bradberry: I can’t really repeat what he said but it was pretty foul.

Wulf: (Laughs) OK.

Bradberry: I can say it involved the other person’s grandmother.

Wulf: Oh, no. And he got fined because it got picked up on the mic?

Bradberry: Picked up on the mic.

Wulf: What are we talking, like $10,000?

Bradberry: Oh, I didn’t even ask him what the amount was. I just remember being amazed that he said that.

Wulf: (Laughs)

Bradberry: I was like, you know what, you probably should have been fined.


Wulf: Have you ever been fined by the league?

DeVonta Smith: Yeah, plenty of times.

Wulf: Plenty of times? (Laughs) What for?

Smith: Socks!

Wulf: All the time?

Smith: Yeah, pretty much every time it’s the socks.

Wulf: OK. And what are we talking, like $10,000?

Smith: Um, I don’t remember honestly.

Wulf: Is it increasing if you’re a repeat offender?

Smith: Yeah, if you’re a repeat offender it’s more.

Wulf: Really? So what’s your reaction when you get that (notice) in the locker?

Smith: Uh, it’s a bunch of bulls—.

Wulf: I think that’s fair.

Smith: Like, socks don’t have nothing to do with the game.

Wulf: Right. And what is it, there’s not a strip of black or something?

Smith: Um, they say my knees are showing. I don’t be having them all the way up.

Wulf: And you get fined because your knees are showing?

Smith: Yeah.

Wulf: You just wanna get some air for those knees. And have you gotten some this year?

Smith: Yeah.

Wulf: I respect that. You do you.

Smith: I mean, it’s not like I’m in the game like, “I need to pull my socks up!” I’m not worrying about my socks in the game.

Wulf: Right. Thank you.


Wulf: Have you ever been fined by the league?

Greg Ward: I don’t think so.

Wulf: That’s good. You’re a rule follower.

Ward: Uh, I am.

Wulf: Have there been teammates who are notorious for it that you’ve been around?

Ward: Not that I know of. I don’t know that I’ve ever been around anybody that likes losing money like that.



Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards. (Bill Streicher / USA Today)

Wulf: Do you have any stories of, like, the worst fine you’ve got from the league?

T.J. Edwards: Worst fine. I only got one fine and it was my rookie year for my undershirt being too untucked.

Wulf: OK.

Edwards: It was insane. Like, I didn’t even know that was a thing.

Wulf: Do you remember how much it was for? I mean, you’re a rookie on an undrafted contract.

Edwards: It was for like a couple thousand. Which, when I got it, I was like, “Yo. I don’t have any guaranteed money.”

Wulf: Exactly. I’m a rookie, come on.

Edwards: But then you appeal it, and that brought it down a little bit.

Wulf: Oh, that’s good.

Edwards: I think the craziest ones are the uniform infractions. For like socks are too high.

Wulf: DeVonta said he’s gotten several sock ones.

Edwards: Yeah, you’ll get like a warning here and there, but sometimes you get that FedEx right to your chair.

Wulf: And then what is the actual appeal process? Who do you talk to?

Edwards: You gotta go talk to — good thing I forgot his name, I haven’t talked to him in a long time. It might be (Jon) Runyan.

Wulf: Do you do it yourself?

Edwards: No, it’s like a trial.

Wulf: OK.

Edwards: Your agent, you talk about it.

Wulf: Your agent handles it?

Edwards: Yeah. Thank God.

(Author’s note: Here’s how the actual process works)


Wulf: Craziest fine you’ve gotten from the league?

Lane Johnson: My socks were pulled down below my knees. I was wearing them during the game and they fell below my knees.

Wulf: And how much does that cost you?

Johnson: I think it was like five (thousand), but I got it down to a thousand.

Wulf: OK.

Johnson: So now I wear the leggings and the socks.

Wulf: So there’s no way they’ll go down.

Johnson: Yeah.

Wulf: Smart.


Wulf: Do you have any stories of getting fined by the league?

Zach Pascal: Yeah. My socks. I got fined a couple times for my socks. On a Sunday night game.

Wulf: Man. And how much did that cost you?

Pascal: At first it was like, $6,000?

Wulf: Jeez.

Pascal: And then I appealed it and got it to like four or three.

Wulf: And what was wrong with the socks?

Pascal: It was literally like right here (points to below his knee). And I had part of my knee showing on Sunday Night Football.

Wulf: That’s crazy, man.

Pascal: It’s pretty crazy.


Wulf: Have you ever been fined by the league?

Marcus Epps: Uh, yeah.

Wulf: What for?

Epps: Uniform violation.

Wulf: What was it, socks?

Epps: Yeah, it was like, my socks weren’t something. I don’t know.

Wulf: And how much did that cost you?

Epps: To be honest, man, I couldn’t even tell you.


Wulf: Slay, do you have any stories of an unfair fine you’ve gotten from the league?

Darius Slay: Nah, I only got fined from the team. For being late. That’s it.

Wulf: How late were you?

Slay: I don’t do that. That’s, I can’t give them my money. That’s easy money. They don’t take my money.

Wulf: OK. You make sure you got your uniform spot on?

Slay: Uniform gonna be the finest they got. Wear tights. You ain’t gonna see no knees, no nothing.

Wulf: And when did you get the fine for being late?

Slay: I had got a flat tire. Coach still didn’t excuse it, though. But it’s cool.

Wulf: That was in Detroit or here?

Slay: Detroit. I was young though, a rookie.

Wulf: You live and learn.

Slay: I don’t do that. Giving away free cash? They trying to bust you across the dome. Pay for socks? They ain’t gonna get me.

Wulf: Smitty says they’ve got him for socks, like several times.

Slay: Yeah, I ain’t gettin’ that. He ain’t learn yet. We go out there in warmups, you say, “That’s a fine there, Slay.” When I come back out, it ain’t gonna be no fine when I come back out. Come on, man. They already trying to take all the money back.


Wulf: Miles, have you ever gotten an unfair fine from the league?

Miles Sanders: Yeah, my f—in’ socks.

Wulf: Everybody’s getting socks.

Sanders: Fine us for f—in’ socks. It’s stupid.

Wulf: How many times have you gotten socks?

Sanders: Just once. It’s stupid.

Wulf: It is stupid.

Sanders: Tellin’ me I can’t show skin, but I play running back. My socks get rolled out every tackle. That was my rookie year.

Wulf: And it hasn’t happened since?

Sanders: I can’t say it hasn’t happened, but they haven’t fined me.

Wulf: Are you more aware of it since?

Sanders: I can’t control it!

Wulf: You’re running the ball.

Sanders: It’s not something I’m gonna be worried about during the game. If they fine me, they fine me. I’ll appeal it.

Wulf: Did you appeal that first one?

Sanders: Yeah, $6,000. Started at seven.

Wulf: Wild.

Sanders: F—in’ socks.


Wulf: Very quick question.

Rick Lovato: Yeah, what’s up?

Wulf: Have you ever been fined by the league?

Lovato: No. I have not been fined by the league.

Wulf: Fingers crossed.

Lovato: Fingers crossed.


Wulf: Quick question for you.

Linval Joseph: OK.

Wulf: Do you have a story of the most unfair fine you’ve gotten from the league over your career?

Joseph: No, not really. I mean, one time I got fined without actually doing something.

Wulf: OK. What was that?

Joseph: It was against Washington and I think the guy kicked me in my … and I intended to step on him, but like I said, intent. Didn’t do it. Still got fined for it.

Wulf: Oh, you just went like this (lifts leg up), and then you didn’t actually step down? And you still got fined?

Joseph: Yup.

Wulf: OK. Was that when you were with the Giants?

Joseph: Yeah, with the Giants.

Wulf: Brutal. You stopped yourself.

Joseph: They said I got fined for the intent of trying to do it. And I was like, imagine if I tried to do it.



Eagles running back Boston Scott. (Rey Del Rio / Getty Images)

Wulf: Boston, have you ever been fined by the league?

Boston Scott: I think one time for a T-shirt.

Wulf: T-shirt?

Scott: My shirt was too long.

Wulf: Man.

Scott: Oh, you know what? It was socks.

Wulf: Socks. That’s everybody.

Scott: Yup.

Wulf: And you haven’t made that mistake again?

Scott: No. Keep my money in my pocket.


Wulf: Do you have any stories of an unfair fine that you’ve gotten from the league?

Robert Quinn: Huh? All of them.

Wulf: (Laughs)

Quinn: All of them.

Wulf: Any one stand out?

Quinn: I think one time my shirt was hanging from under my jersey and I think my knees were showing.

Wulf: Can’t have that.

Quinn: Those were probably, to me, the dumbest.

Wulf: I would agree. The uniform ones. Did you appeal those?

Quinn: Yup. Sometimes it don’t go in your favor, but most of the time it’ll go in your favor. Still gotta appeal ’em, you never know.

Wulf: OK.

Quinn: Playing football, it’s kind of hard for them to stay up.

Wulf: Sorry, my knees were showing.

Quinn: Right. (Laughs)

Wulf: Thank you.

Quinn: They fine you?

Wulf: No. But I figure Black Friday, everybody’s trying to save money, so I’ll do a little thing on the money that’s been taken from you guys.

Quinn: I mean, it’s a tax write-off.

Wulf: OK! That’s a good veteran tip.

Quinn: (Laughs) You know. You can work it out. Of course, you would rather keep the money, but it’s a tax write-off. I’m speaking for myself on that.


Wulf: Dallas, do you have any stories of an unfair fine you’ve gotten from the league?

Dallas Goedert: No, I haven’t been fined too much. I haven’t been fined too much, and when I have …

Wulf: You had it coming?

Goedert: Usually they’re right.

Wulf: What’s the most recent one?

Goedert: Taunting call earlier this year.

Wulf: Who was that against?

Goedert: Detroit. Forty-four (Malcolm Rodriguez).

Wulf: Do you remember what you did?

Goedert: I just kind of stood over him, flexed on him. Can’t do that.

Wulf: And what does that cost?

Goedert: Too much. I think they got me for like 11 (thousand).

Wulf: And you appealed?

Goedert: I got it down to like five or something. S—, I wish it was none. I ain’t taunt nobody after that.


Wulf: I’m asking guys in the locker room if they have an instance of, like, a fine from the league that they thought was sort of unfair.

Ndamukong Suh: (Laughs) A fine from the league that was unfair?

Joseph: (Laughs)

Suh: When I played his old team Minnesota and I got fined 100 grand for a block on an interception.

Wulf: OK.

Suh: That was definitely unfair.

Wulf: What was it, like a blindside?

Suh: Yeah.

Wulf: A hundred!

Suh: (Shakes his head)

Wulf: Was that because you were a repeat offender?

Suh: I have no clue. I don’t understand how a lot of those folks make decisions.

Joseph: What about the one in Green Bay?

Suh: Which one?

Joseph: Stepped on Aaron Rodgers.

Suh: Nah. That was …

Wulf: (Laughs)

Joseph: How much was that one?

Suh: Maybe, I was suspended for two games. But my game checks were low, so it was maybe $25,000 each or something like that.

Wulf: Because it was your rookie contract.

Suh: Yeah.

Wulf: That makes sense. Do it when you’re a rookie, I guess.

Suh: (Laughs) Yeah.

Joseph: The worst fine I got wasn’t on the field. It was off the field.

Wulf: OK.

Joseph: You know, back then, that s— you get from meat from Mexico? I had 0.1 percent in my system …

Wulf: OK?

Joseph: And they tried to suspend me four games. It was like, but we’ll settle for $500k.

Wulf: (Laughs)

Suh: Damn.

Joseph: Yeah. That s— hurt, bro.

Suh: (Laughs)

Wulf: And what was it?

Joseph: I had like 1 percent of contaminated meat in my system.

Wulf: Oh.

Joseph: A few years ago, it started happening to a lot of people and they didn’t know how to deal with it. So the season started, and like halfway, almost to the end, they were like, “Hey, give us a number.”

Wulf: (Laughs)

Joseph: “A hundred grand?” “No, that’s not good enough. We’ll suspend you, or, 500 grand.”

Wulf: That’s tough.

Suh: Trying to get they charity right.

Joseph: Yeah, I couldn’t write it off.

Wulf: Oh, you couldn’t write that one off?

Joseph: No! That’s why I was like, it never added up.

(Top photo of DeVonta Smith: Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

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