September 07, 2011
Making the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad could end up costing Mike Lockley $20,000.
During the preseason, the linebacker was assessed a $20,000 fine for an illegal hit on a New England Patriots receiver. That debt was wiped away when he was cut from the team's roster at the end of the preseason. If he had remained out of football, Lockley wouldn't have had to pay. Not an NFL player? No NFL fine.
When he was re-signed to the practice squad this week, the fine was reinstated. That would be a hefty amount of money no matter a player's salary. But as a member of the practice squad, Lockley will make $5,700 per week, far less than the amount he owes the NFL.
According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, players like Lockley are put on a payment plan to satisfy their debts. In Lockley's case, once he gets his first paycheck, he'd pay $2,500 per week for eight weeks to make good with the NFL.
Because the amount of the fine is more than 25 percent of his weekly check, Lockley can lodge an appeal. If I were him, I wouldn't hold my breath on getting that fine changed. The NFL doesn't exactly champion the cause of the little guy.
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