Shutdown Corner - NFL

The NFL's system of fines has always been very odd -- in previous years, you could get dinged more money for wearing the wrong socks than you would for knocking a player out of a game with an illegal hit. But in its usual "ready-fire-aim" fashion, the league famously turned up the volume this season in the fine structure for what the league deems to be hits outside the rules.

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Even on plays uncalled by officials, the NFL's arbitrary system now hands fines out to players in a willy-nilly fashion, targets specific players openly (James Harrison(notes), please stand up), and the league seems to have little accountability when it comes to how those penalties go out.

Courtesy of the Twitter account of Chicago Bears safety Chris Harris(notes), we now know that in the postseason, fines will go waaaaay up for equipment violations:

This is a joke NFL fines for the playoffs 50k min. As players we make less n playoffs than regular season than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

The link the picture of the fine memo has been taken down (most likely under NFL orders, one would suspect), but we saved the shot so that you can see what Harris received in preparation for his Bears facing the Seahawks at Soldier Field in the Sunday early game.

Now, given that this list is in the context of apparel requirements, these fines could actually be meted out for uniform violations -- it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a player getting dinged fifty large for drawing something goofy on his shoes. The question is, will those fines also increase for roughness, actual or otherwise?

[Photo: NFL star flashes 'Batman' quote on shirt]

We don't know, and we probably never will, because the NFL does what it wants, and it doesn't have to explain the reasoning behind anything it does. We'll just have to see how much "lockout insurance" the league can get out of the players on the field.

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