METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata was fined $40,108 for his two roughing-the-passer penalties in Week 1 — an amount that actually exceeds his game salary of $37,059.
However, Onyemata, a fourth-round draft pick in 2016, can appeal to have his fine reduced because it exceeds 50 percent of his salary, according to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. Players can appeal if a fine for one offense exceeds 25 percent of their weekly check or a fine for two offenses exceeds 50 percent.
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Onyemata was one of several players fined $20,054 for roughing the passer in the league’s opening weekend, but he was the only one to be hit with two fines.
One of his penalties was the result of the NFL’s new rule that requires players to avoid putting their full weight on quarterbacks — when Onyemata landed on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick just after he released the ball on an incomplete pass in the third quarter.
“I’m working on different things, maybe hit them and fall to the side or something,” Onyemata told reporters earlier this week. “Don’t put my whole body weight on them.”
Onyemata’s second penalty occurred when he made contact with Fitzpatrick’s helmet during a 36-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson in the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay’s 48-40 victory.
The NFL did not fine Saints rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport for his roughing-the-passer penalty against Fitzpatrick in Week 1.
NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron said that penalty was an incorrect call by the officials, according to NFL Network.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.