NFL Fines Reach New Record In 2023 With Total Eclipsing $5 Million

NFL Fines Reach New Record In 2023 With Total Eclipsing $5 Million

Key Highlights:

  • NFL fines reach new record with total eclipsing $5 million, up 161% YoY
  • Total NFL fines and suspensions hit $16,387,842 in 2023, the highest mark ever
  • Kareem Jackson has been fined the most money in 2023 ($558,888)
  • Retirements & broadcast jobs have forced NFL to employ less-experienced referees

The NFL is a money-making machine that brings in over $20 billion in annual revenue. Yet, commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t been shy about fining players to offenses that seem like normal football plays in 2023. Players have been fined a total of $5 million for on-field infractions, up 161 percent year-over-year, according to data obtained from Spotrac. The uptick in fines has led to players being fined the most money in NFL history.

Last season, NFL players were fined just $1,935,379. Yet through 13 weeks, that number has ballooned to $5,052,879 in 2023.

Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson has been fined the most money in 2023 thanks to his penchant for helmet-to-helmet hits. As a result, Jackson has coughed up an estimated $838,332 in fines and suspensions this season.

When including off-field infractions like PEDs and gambling, the NFL has raked in over $16.3 million in 2023.

NFL Claims 98.9 Percent Of All Calls Are Correct

The NFL claims that officials are correct on 98.9 percent of calls, but fans and sports bettors certainly don’t feel that way.

League officials have botched several calls in important situations this season, which has hurt the overall product of NFL games. And with sports betting legal in more than 30 U.S. states and millions of dollars bet on games every week, bad calls and missed calls are under the microscope more than ever before.

Top League Officials Are Now On TV & Not On The Field

One of the reasons that the quality of refereeing has declined in 2023 is that the NFL’s best officials no longer hold positions with the league office.

Gene Seratore, Terry McAuly, and Dean Blandino are former officials and NFL employees taking more high-profile positions on broadcast networks.

New York Jets’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke at length about the issue on the Pat McAfee Show.

“Listen, the best refs we’ve had in the league are on TV now. They’re not working in the league office. They’re on TV,” Rodgers said.

“Gene is on TV now. Why? Because they pay more. Terry McAulay, also a fantastic referee. He’s not working as the head of refs for the league office. He’s on TV. John Parry, another great referee. What is he doing? He’s working on TV. All of these guys who were fantastic whitecaps, and all who’ve left in probably the last five years. You’ve had eight or nine really good whitecap longtime referees. Are any of them working at the league office? No.”

Several Experienced Refs Retired After Super Bowl 2023

With the league’s top officials taking jobs to explain calls on broadcast television, the NFL has been forced to bring on a number of less experienced referees.

Retirements have also played a role in the quality of officiating. At the end of last season, 10 different officials retired from the league, including Jeff Bergman, Mark Hittner, Jerome Boger, and Jerry Bergman. Six of those 10 officials had at least 20 years of officiating experience.

Here is a list of the NFL officials who retired at the end of last season, along with the number of years that each served as an official.

  • Jeff Bergman — 30 years
  • Mart Hittner — 26 years
  • Perry Paganelli — 25 years
  • Keith Ferguson — 23 years
  • Michael Banks — 21 years
  • Jeff Lamberth — 21 years
  • Jerry Bergman — 21 years
  • Jerome Boger — 19 years
  • Steven Patrick — 9 years
  • Walt Coleman — 8 years
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