Steelers running back Jaylen Warren has racked up two of the biggest fines of this NFL season, for two hits that weren’t flagged on the field. Warren isn't happy about that but also isn't planning to change how he plays.
"I mean, it sucks because that's so much money," Warren said, via ESPN. "But I don’t let it alter my play. If . . . I don't know if I should say this, but if I was in the same situation, I'm still doing what I'm going to do. It's what got me on the team."
Warren probably shouldn't say that, because the NFL fines players with the expectations that they're going to change the way they play. If fines don't work, suspensions are the next step. And Warren is clearly on notice from the league's disciplinary office that they have their eyes on him.
Warren said he was also fined twice last year and hasn't changed his style of play.
"I got two fines last year, and I'm still doing it this year," Warren said. "OK. And I mean, it's kind of hard. I don't know how I'm supposed to hit dudes that's like 350 pounds and 2 feet taller than me. I can't stand my ground and kind of punch 'em. They're going to run me over. So I try to enforce the hitting, again to the point where it's costing me."
Warren also questioned why he, as a player who entered the NFL last year as an undrafted rookie on a league-minimum contract, is getting fined the same as players like teammate T.J. Watt, who has a four-year, $112 million contract.
"I was talking to one of the coaches and they're saying that same thing," Warren said. "I get fined the same that dudes like T.J. would get fined. I get fined the same amount of money."
The NFL does allow players to appeal the size of their fines as excessive as a proportion of his game check, and in Warren's case his two fines represented approximately a full game check each. Relative to what he gets paid, Warren is getting fined like no one else in the NFL.