Talk about adding insult to injury, Oakland Raiders safety Johnathan Abram received a $28,075 fine on Friday for delivering a hit that wound up costing him his rookie season.
In the first half of the Raiders’ Monday night win over the Denver Broncos, Abram tackled wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton out of bounds, which referees did not deem to be a penalty. However, days later the league has ruled that he lowered his head to initiate contact and slapped him with the standard fine for a first offense.
Abram played the rest of the game, but team doctors determined he suffered a rotator cuff injury on the play, which would cost him the season. Although he didn’t actually tear it on the play, the typical recovery time of five-to-six months would rule out a return.
The Raiders are worse off without one of their three first-round picks for the rest of the season, and now Abram is left with a sour taste in his mouth as he has to watch the rest of his rookie campaign from the sidelines.
Abram is unlikely to pay the full fine
The punishment seems cruel, considering the circumstances, but Abram is unlikely to pay the full amount. The CBA is wildly complicated — it’s a very dry read — but it outlines several ways a player can lessen a fine on appeal.
On appeal, a player may assert, among other defenses, that any fine should be reduced because it is excessive when compared to the player’s expected earnings for the season in question. However, a fine may be reduced on this basis only if it exceeds 25 percent of one week of a player’s salary for a first offense, and 50 percent of one week of a player’s salary for a second offense. A player may also argue on appeal that the circumstances do not warrant his receiving a fine above the amount stated in the schedule of fines.
Since Abrams’ weekly pay as a rookie is only 1/17th of the $495,000 rookie minimum ($29,117.65), that fine would be over 96 percent of his first paycheck.
Furthermore, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports that Abrams plans to appeal the fine by arguing that he led with his shoulder, not his helmet. And he's wearing the receipt, considering he underwent surgery on his left shoulder on Friday.
Surgery went really well and I’m forever thankful for all the love & support each and everyone of you sent! Best believe I’m coming back harder than ever. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/nKZs30zTGc— Johnathan Abram 🐆 (@JohnathanAbram1) September 13, 2019
Abram officially landed on the injured reserve on Friday and ends his rookie season with five tackles and a pass deflection.
Oakland will replace him in the starting lineup with veteran Lamarcus Joyner, who joined the team as a free agent from the Los Angeles Rams this offseason.
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