Discipline Problem? Steelers Most-Fined NFL Team in 2022
The Pittsburgh Steelers had the most-fined players in the NFL in 2022, according to a recent study by Gambling.com.
Collectively, the Steelers were fined $196,480, according to the study. The big total likely came about because of a defensive celebration in November against the Indianapolis Colts after a James Pierre interception.
The Steelers celebrated in the end zone, with Pierre throwing up the ball like a clay pigeon and the rest of the defense pretending to shoot it down. A total of 13 Steelers were fined for that play, with seven of them fined $13,621 and six fined between $4,715 and $8,333. NFL fines are built on a sliding scale, based on the severity and number of offenses, and in some cases, the salary of the player.
The Steelers defenders started doing that celebration after turnovers back in training camp at St. Vincent College, but usually did it on the team’s sideline. They were never publicly disciplined for doing it there.
That day alone accounted for over half of the Steelers’ elevated fine totals for the 2022 season. James Daniels, Kevin Dotson and Myles Jack were all fined for post-whistle dust-ups against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5. Marcus Allen and Diontae Johnson had their paychecks lightened for unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting against the Carolina Panthers in December.
The Denver Broncos were the second-most fined team at $187,565, followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys. Over the the last five seasons, the Steelers are the fourth-most fined team at $795,857, behind the Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets.
The study did not count the salary that safety Damontae Kazee was forfeited for his DUI-related suspension. Kazee was arrested for DUI while playing with the Dallas Cowboys in 2021 but served his suspension at the start of this season.
NFL fine money collected does not go to the league, but is instead distributed to charities that assist former NFL players. The league collects an average of $4 million per season in fines, according to NFL publications.
While the Steelers were among the most fined in 2022, that doesn’t necessarily mean they were the least-disciplined. The team was penalized 94 times for 711 yards, finishing with the sixth-fewest penalty yards against in the NFL last season.
The Steelers were penalized four times for unsportsmanlike conduct, seven times for unnecessary roughness, and one player was ejected (George Pickens for his conduct in attempting to recover an end-game onside kick.)