New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan’s offseason already started, but he still managed to get one more win on Thursday. After a successful appeal, he will not have to pay the $50,000 the NFL fined him for allegedly faking an injury, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported.
Jordan told ESPN’s Katherine Terrell that he felt like the league questioned his integrity and that his “name’s low-key been slandered” after he was accused of faking an injury in such an official capacity.
He was pretty active on Twitter after receiving the fine, saying that the NFL’s disciplinary procedures should be “public knowledge.” Now, he seems to be quietly enjoying the vindication of a successful appeal.
The fine came after he went down with an injury during the fourth quarter of a Week 13 loss in Tampa, which forced a stoppage as the Buccaneers sped to set up on the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-10.
The incident led the NFL to issue the Saints $550,000 worth of fines; $350,000 for the team, $100,000 for head coach Dennis Allen and $50,000 for defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen.
While Jordan reportedly won the appeal and won’t have to pay the $50,000, it’s unclear if the other fines still stand since the proceedings are different for athletes, coaches and teams.
One might have assumed that all of the fines would be null and void after Jordan’s injury was later proved by an MRI to be a mid-foot sprain, but the NFL has shown in the past that it’s serious about managing fake injuries.
“The fact that I have to go through an appeal is almost funny in itself,” Jordan said, via ESPN. “If anything, the league should be like ‘Hey, call in and be like there was an actual [injury] and that’s the end of it,’ but apparently, there’s almost a half million dollars worth of fines, so you have to go through an appeal process.”
The league reportedly sent a memo to all teams in December warning against “deliberate actions to delay the game.” This is something that the league has done in previous seasons after observing “multiple instances of clubs making a deliberate attempt to stop play unnecessarily this season.”
The same day that Jordan and the Saints were fined, the league also issued Cincinnati defensive back Jessie Bates III and the Bengals fines totaling $500,000 after Bates was criticized for appearing to fake an injury. Those fine appear to still stand.