The Atlanta Falcons have received quite a few fines from the NFL this season, but fullback Keith Smith’s $87,000 fine for illegal use of his helmet during the team’s Week 3 loss in Detroit was by far the most expensive.
As initially reported by Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio, Smith’s fine was overturned on appeal, but that information was never released by the NFL.
Earlier this year, Falcons FB Keith Smith was fined $87,000 for illegal use of his helmet. On appeal, the fine was overturned in its entirety, and no violation was found. https://t.co/Jw8lu2eQgU
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 8, 2023
The NFL has not been reporting which fines get overturned, which is something that was highlighted by NFLPA president JC Tretter in a recent article:
For example, just this season, a player was fined more than $87,000 for an illegal use of helmet. The player’s coach had previously reached out to the league for guidance on how to properly execute the technique his player had been previously fined for, but he received no answer. After receiving this fine, which is more than his entire weekly paycheck, the player appealed to the neutral hearing officer, who rescinded the entire amount and deemed there was no actual violation of the rules.
This provides some context as to why the league would impose such a hefty fine only to completely dismiss the entire thing. Nonetheless, Smith is likely grateful to have avoided paying nearly $90,000 something that was not considered an actual violation.