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NFL hits Washington with record-setting $10 million fine: Here are the 10 biggest fines in league history

After a lengthy investigation into the workplace conduct of the Washington Football Team, the NFL dropped the hammer on Thursday, hitting them with a record-setting $10 million fine

The NFL had been investigating the team since Sept. 1 when the league decided to take a look at Washington’s workplace issues following a bombshell story from the Washington Post where 15 women accused former team executives of sexual harassment. 

The hefty fine given to the Football Team is the largest handed out in NFL history. As a matter of fact, before Thursday no team had even been given a $2 million fine. 

Here’s a look at the 10 biggest fines in NFL history

1. Washington: $10 million. After an investigation that included more than 150 interviews, the NFL ruled that the Football Team had created a hostile workplace culture that fostered an unprofessional workplace environment, especially for women. The team’s record-setting fine money will be used for a good cause: The NFL has said that the $10 million will be used to support organizations committed to character education, anti-bullying and healthy relationships.

2. Broncos: $1.918 million. This was actually two punishments, but they were both for the same thing. In 2001, Denver was fined $968,000 for trying to circumvent the salary cap in their contracts with John Elway and Terrell Davis between 1996 and 1998. The Broncos also got hit with a $950,000 fine in 2004 to bring the total to nearly $2 million. 

T-3. Patriots: $1 million. The Patriots were hit with a monstrous fine in May 2015 after the NFL completed its Deflategate investigation. Not only was the team docked $1 million, but it also had to forfeit a draft pick. 

T-3. Eddie DeBartolo Jr: $1 million. Back in 1999, the former 49ers owner was fined $1 million for committing conduct detrimental to the NFL. The fine came after DeBartolo pleaded guilty to one felony charge for the part he played in a Louisiana gambling scandal. 

5. Raiders: $800,000. The Raiders violated COVID protocols so often during the 2020 season that they ended up being fined a total of $800,000

6. Jamal Lewis: $760,000. Less than 12 months after leading the league in rushing in 2003 with a 2,000-yard season, Lewis was hit with a monstrous fine following a court case where he pleaded guilty to federal drug charges

7. Saints: $700,000. Like the Raiders, the Saints were hit with some major COVID fines in 2020 and those fines ended up totaling $700,000

T-8. Saints: $500,000. Following the Bountygate scandal in 2012, not only did Sean Payton get suspended for a year, but the Saints were also hit with a $500,000 fine. 

T-8. Bill Belichick: $500,000. After the NFL completed its Spygate investigation in 2007, the league ended up fining the Patriots coach a total of $500,000, which to this day still represents the largest fine ever given to a head coach (Payton didn’t get paid while he was suspended in 2012, so he lost out on the most money even though that wasn’t technically a fine). 

T-8. Jim Irsay: $500,000. Irsay was hit with a half-million fine after pleading guilty to a DWI in 2014. The Colts owner was  also suspended for six games




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