Graham was fined $30,000 by the NFL for dunking the football over the goal post twice in last Friday's preseason game, according to numerous sources including the New Orleans Advocate. The NFL actually took it easy on him. As the Advocate pointed out, he could have been fined a little more than $33,000 based on the league's rules for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
People will compare this hefty fine to Johnny Manziel getting a $12,000 fine for an obscene gesture on Monday night, but it's no surprise the NFL didn't go too easy on Graham. The NFL made a rule outlawing the dunk celebration, and it was known as the "Jimmy Graham Rule," because he and retired Tony Gonzalez were the two players who did it most. Graham got a 15-yard penalty for his first violation in last Friday's game. He clearly was sending a message after he did it a second time in the game, getting another penalty. The NFL's schedule for fines is about $11,000 for the first unsportsmanlike penalty and about $22,000 for the second, and Graham gave the league little choice but to fine him close to the full amount.
Graham probably won't get any more fines for his dunk celebration. Probably. Saints coach Sean Payton was clearly upset with Graham after taking the second penalty. He and Graham have talked about it since, although Graham gave a vague answer when talking about if he would give up the celebration.
“I can’t guarantee you that,” he said, according to the Advocate. “But I would never do anything to hurt this team.”
If he wants to press his luck, the NFL will surely accept another donation from him.
- - - - - - -