Steelers Were NFL’s Most Fined Team In 2022 (And There’s A Good Explanation For It)

In a new study from, no team was as “charitable” to the NFL as the Pittsburgh Steelers were in 2022. According to their numbers, the Steelers led the league in fines at $196,480, nearly $10,000 more than the second place team and one of only two squads to be fined more than $140,000.

Via their site, here were the top five.

Most Fined Teams, 2022

1. Pittsburgh Steelers – $196,480
2. Denver Broncos – $187,565
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $135,905
4. Cincinnati Bengals – $118,959
5. Dallas Cowboys – $95,500

If it feels a little strange for Pittsburgh to be in that top spot, you’re not alone. The Steelers didn’t rack up penalties in droves this year, roughing the passer or unnecessary roughness calls that typically draw fines. So what gives?

Nearly 75% of that fine amount comes from one game. Thirteen Steelers’ players were fined nearly a total of $140,000 for an end zone celebration against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12. After CB James Pierre picked off QB Matt Ryan, the defense raced into the end zone with what the NFL deemed an illegal celebration for mimicking guns shooting at the football. Take a look at the moment.

It’s a celebration act the team started in training camp and carried over to the regular season. The defense did it after a Week One turnover versus the Cincinnati Bengals but smartly did so along their sideline, avoiding a fine. Doing it in the end zone though led to their wallets being lighter that week.

Seven players were fined over $13,000 while others, players on rookie contracts whose fines get reduced proportionally to their salary, were fined less. But all told, it added up to nearly $140,000, making up for 71% of the team’s total fines of the year.

So while accurate, the number looks a lot worse than it really is. Only a fraction of their fines came from things like illegal hits and direct on-field related flags. Notable such fines include WR Diontae Johnson and ILB Marcus Allen hit with over $10,000 penalties for taunting against the Carolina Panthers, OT Chukwuma Okorafor dinged $10,000 for an illegal hit on Baltimore Ravens’ CB Marcus Peters, and LB Myles Jack and OG James Daniels fined for late hits against the Buffalo Bills.

Comparatively, the Steelers’ 2021 fine amounts only totaled a little more than $57,000 while in 2020, it was only a bit over $46,000. 2019 was a different story. Stemming from the Myles Garrett/Mason Rudolph incident, the Steelers amassed more than $400,000 in fines that year.

All NFL fine money goes to a charity of the league’s choosing. Fine amounts are preset by the CBA and increase a designated percentage each year.

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