On the same day that the league announced it would be reinstating the man who struck him over the head with his own helmet, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph also learned that he would be out $50,000 stemming from the events that led up to his being assaulted in front of the nation in the middle of November.
As you will recall, the Steelers were blown out by the Cleveland Browns during a Thursday Night Football broadcast toward the middle of the season, in a game in which Rudolph threw four interceptions and looked completely flustered. He would be benched the next game.
On third and long, deep in their own end, with seconds remaining in a 14-point game, Rudolph stood in the pocket awaiting a developing screen pass. Myles Garrett offered no let-up, not only tackling Rudolph after the ball had been thrown but also proceeding to twist him down to the ground, which is a textbook roughing the passer penalty by the letter of the law.
Rudolph took umbrage to this action that he saw as unwarranted and began to attempt to remove Garrett’s helmet while the two were still on the ground. For this, and for continuing to pursue Garrett after he subsequently pulled the quarterback up off the ground by his facemask and then rip his helmet off, the second-year quarterback was fined $50,000.
It took months for his appeal to finally be heard and ruled on. It would seem to add some insult to injury that the league would announce Garrett’s reinstatement for the assault on the same day that they announce Rudolph would indeed by out the money that he had been fined stemming from the game.
Of course, he won’t be asked to repay that entire amount. The league has a rule in place protecting players from paying exorbitant fines disproportionate to their salary, so players are not asked to pay more than 25 percent of a game check, generally.
Last season, Rudolph earned $658,267. Divided by 17 weeks, and thus 17 checks, his weekly salary comes out to $38,721, so he should expect to be asked to pay about $9680 if the league does what it typically does in such situations for players on lower salaries.
Still, it goes without saying that it cost him far more than 10 grand. It got him hit in the head, and then he had to endure the accusation of using a racial epithet, a leak from Garrett’s appeal hearing as he tried to get the ‘indefinite’ part of his indefinite suspension lifted.
At least by now it’s finally all behind us. All the fallout is over with, at least until these two teams get back on the field and the Steelers see Garrett in the flesh for the first time again.