Deshaun Watson fined $5 million: What is the biggest fine in NFL history? (2023)

In the history of the NFL there have been notable financial penalties for teams such as the New Orleans Saints for their reward program for players who injured opponents (also called the Bountygate scandal); that of the Washington Commanders for creating a hostile work environment; and that of the New England Patriots for Deflategate, where quarterback Tom Brady supposedly ordered the deliberate deflation of footballs during an AFC Championship game.

However, Deshaun Watson’s $5 million fine for violating NFL conduct guidelines is the largest in history for an individual. His penalty is so large that it also goes down as the second largest fine ever handed out in the league, whether to an entity or an individual.

(Video) Deshaun Watson gets 11-game suspension, $5 million fine in NFL-union settlement

Deshaun Watson will be suspended for 11 games and fined $5M, per multiple reports

(Video) Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson suspended for 11 games, fined $5 million

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 18, 2022

Apart from Watson, here are the most significant fines for individual players, coaches or owners set by the NFL.

Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

The former owner of the San Francisco 49ers was fined $1 million by the league in 1999 after pleading guilty to one felony charge in a Louisiana gambling scandal.

(Video) Cleveland Browns’ Deshaun Watson Suspended For 11 Games, Fined $5M

Jamal lewis

Lewis is one of only eight running backs in NFL history to record a season with more than 2,000 rushing yards. However, his legacy was tarnished when he pleaded guilty to federal drug possession charges in 2004 and was fined $760,000 by the league.

Bill Belichick

In 2007 the head coach of the New England Patriots received what was until then the largest individual fine imposed by the NFL when he was punished with 500 thousand dollars due to Spygate, a scandal involving illegally videotaping the hand signals of their opponents. This remains the biggest fine for a head coach. For their part, the Pats were penalized $250,000 and lost a first-round pick.

(Video) Cleveland Browns Deshaun Watson and NFL reach settlement on 11-game suspension, $5 million fine

Good morning! This is my first tweet in a week.
Just wanted to remind you that Bill Belichick was given the largest fine in NFL history for cheating.
And Patriots owner Robert Kraft was arrested as part of a prostitution and human trafficking sting.
Have a great weekend!

(Video) Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson suspended for 11-games, will pay $5 million fine

— Kevin O’Neill (@KevinBuffalo) December 4, 2021

Jim Irsay

The owner of the Indianapolis Colts was fined the same amount as the head coach of the Pats, but for different reasons. Irsay pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 2014, and the NFL added a six-game suspension.

Shawn Rogers

The former Cleveland Browns defensive tackle was arrested in 2010 at Hopkins International Airport with a loaded gun and for this reason the league decided to punish him with a $400,000 penalty, the salary of one game.

(Video) Former NFL general manager says he expected Deshaun Watson to be suspended for a year

Biggest fines in NFL history

Some of these individual fines also made it to the all-time list. Here’s a record of the biggest penalties meted out by the league.

1Washington Commanders$10 millionHostile work environment
2Deshaun Watson$5 millionPersonal conduct policy violation
3Denver Broncos$1.918 millionCircumventing salary cap
4-TNew England Patriots$1 millionDeflategate scandal
4-TEddie DeBartolo Jr.$1 millionGambling scandal
5Las Vegas Raiders$800,000Violating covid-19 protocols
6Jamal Lewis$760,000Federal drug possession
7New Orleans Saints$700,000Violating covid-19 protocols
8-TNew Orleans Saints$500,000Bountygate scandal
8-TBill Belichick$500,000Illegally recording opponent hand signs
8-TJim Irsay$500,000Driving under the influence


What was the biggest fine in NFL history? ›

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been slapped with a $5 million fine- the largest individual fine in the history of the NFL.

What did Deshaun Watson do to get fined by the NFL? ›

Watson, who was accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, is believed to be the first player fined under the NFL's personal conduct policy. In previous cases the league determined a suspension without pay was adequate.

Who is the most penalized player in NFL history? ›

Conrad Dobler was the dirtiest player EVER. Vicious hits, including a helmet-to-helmet on Jerry Rice, earned him suspensions galore and nearly a quarter million dollars worth of fines from the NFL. Frequently topped the NFL's Dirtiest Player poll throughout his 15 year career.

Why did Deshaun Watson get fined $5 million? ›

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will serve an 11-game unpaid suspension, pay a $5 million fine and undergo professional evaluation and treatment as part of a settlement with the NFL following accusations of sexual misconduct by two dozen women.

What is the rarest score in the NFL? ›

The lowest possible score is 0-0 and has been achieved 73 times, though the most recent scoreless tie came on Nov. 7, 1943.

Has an NFL team ever scored 70 points? ›

The 1950 Los Angeles Rams, the best offensive team in NFL history in terms of average points (466 in 12 games, 38.8 PPG), scored 70 points, one of only three teams to ever do so. The following week, they beat the Detroit Lions 65-24, including an NFL record 41 points in one quarter.

When the NFL fines players who gets the money? ›

All the money collected from fines goes to programs for former players. Fine money does not go to the NFL. The NFL/NFLPA collectively bargain an on-field code of conduct for all players. The rules are intended to protect players from unnecessary risk, promote player safety and emphasize sportsmanship.

Where does Watson's fine go? ›

Watson's fine and contributions from both the NFL and Browns of $1 million each will create a fund to support nonprofit organizations in the United States "that educate young people on healthy relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, support survivors, and related causes," the ...

Will Deshaun Watson get paid during his suspension? ›

It should get paid in equal installments over the remainder of the season after Watson serves his suspension. Watson's contract doesn't toll with his 11-game suspension. His contract years will run as intended, meaning his deal ends after the 2026 season.

Who was the most feared player in the NFL? ›

Sports Illustrated called Butkus the "most feared man" in the NFL in 1970, and there are few who would argue. Not only was Butkus just an overall tough, scary guy, he also might have bent a rule from time to time, or might have taken a few liberties with a ball-carrier from time to time.

Which player has never missed a penalty? ›

Midfielder Ledio Pano is one of the only players in football history to take over 40 penalties and score every single one of them. The likes of Herea can be debated with a lack of official data, while players like Rickie Lambert and Le Tissier ended up missing towards the end of their careers.

Who is the hardest hitter in NFL history? ›

Jack Tatum

In total, he won 1 Super Bowl and received 8 Pro Bowls, and was nicknamed 'The Assassin. ' He is known as one of the hardest hitters due to his tackle on Darryl Stingley in 1978, which left him paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life.

Who got suspended 11 games? ›

Breaking: the NFL and NFLPA reached a settlement agreement on an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine for Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson.

How much did Deshaun Watson pay for lawsuits? ›

On Friday -- one day after the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) reached a settlement on an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine for Watson -- Lauren Baxley wrote a column for The Daily Beast detailing why she hasn't agreed to a settlement with the 3-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

Has there ever been a 1 point safety? ›

A much rarer occurrence is the one-point (or conversion) safety, which can be scored by the offense on an extra point or two-point conversion attempt: these have occurred at least twice in NCAA Division I football since 1996, most recently at the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, though no conversion safeties have occurred since 1940 ...

Has any NFL team scored 1 point? ›

game actually end, say, 23-1? It is one of the oddities of American football that a team can score 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 222 points in a game, but never 1.

What NFL team scored 73 points in a game? ›

On December 8, 1940, the Chicago Bears trounce the Washington Redskins (now known as the Washington Football Team) in the National Football League (NFL) Championship by a score of 73-0, the largest margin of defeat in NFL history.

Has there ever been a 100 point football game? ›

101 points: Raiders 52, Oilers 49 (Dec.

This was the first game to total over 100 points. This game had a modern feel despite it happening nearly 60 years ago, with 11 combined passing touchdowns and just two combined rushing scores.

Has a team ever scored 200 points in a game? ›

Think for a minute how improbable it is to score 200 points in 40 minutes. The Detroit Pistons scored the most points an NBA game in a 186-184 win over the Denver Nuggets in 1983. But that game went three overtimes, lasting 63 minutes. Troy, then in Division II, beat DeVry Institute, 258-141, in 1992.

Who has the highest QB rating of all time? ›

Aaron Rodgers

Do NFL players get charged for giving away footballs? ›

According to the NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, players are fined $7,210 for a first offense and $12,360 for a second offense. However, this fine is usually reserved for when players throw or kick the ball into the stands. It's all about safety and making sure there isn't a fight over who gets the ball.

Do NFL players have to pay for their rings? ›

Who pays for the Super Bowl rings? The NFL typically contributes anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 per ring for up to 150 rings per team, with any additional costs falling to the team owners. Those numbers might seem daunting, but pale in comparison to the impact a Super Bowl victory has on a team's value.

How much does it cost an NFL player to throw a ball in the stands? ›

Football into Stands — 1st offense: $7,426 | 2nd offense: $12,731.

Can you keep a ball from an NFL game? ›

Football fans can keep the ball if they are careful not to touch it with their hands. They can also keep the ball by throwing it downfield, but be aware of other players who might be trying to catch the ball.

Do the Browns have to pay Watson if he doesn't play? ›

His $1 million paycheck for one year would take effect in 2023, which is when his agreement would begin, and his deal would run through 2027 instead of 2026. Even if he were suspended without pay for an entire year, Watson would still have money coming in.

Do the Browns have to pay Watson if he is suspended? ›

Watson signed a $230 million fully guaranteed contract after being traded to the Browns in March. The three-time Pro Bowler will lose $632,500 in salary this season while serving the suspension, which takes effect Aug.

How much money could Deshaun Watson lose? ›

Deshaun Watson has been suspended for 11 games in the 2022 season and will be assessed a $5 million fine following a settlement between the Cleveland Browns quarterback, the NFLPA and the NFL.

What is the unluckiest NFL team? ›

It takes a lot of luck to make the playoffs, let alone win the Super Bowl.

Who was the meanest linebacker in the NFL? ›

1. Dick Butkus. What can be said about Dick Butkus other than the fact that he is everything this list should be about. Butkus was feared, but he was also revered.

What NFL player is scared of horses? ›

NFL Films takes a look at Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry's fear of horses.

Who is the best penalty taker now? ›

Best active penalty takers in Europe: Jorginho outshines Ramos, Ronaldo on 5th
  1. Jorginho (Chelsea, Italy)
  2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland) ...
  3. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain) ...
  4. James Milner (Liverpool, England) ...
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Portugal) ...
  6. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur, England) ...
Nov 9, 2022

Which player never got a yellow card? ›

Garry Lineker from England is the only footballer who got never booked in his senior career which spanned 16 years and 567 competitive games scoring a total of 330 goals. If a football match is abandoned if there are less than 7 players on a team, can a losing team draw 5 red cards to avoid a loss?

Who is the world best player? ›

#1. Lionel Messi (PSG & Argentina) (Total Football Goals: 804) 18 Dec. 2022.

Who is the hardest player to tackle? ›

However, when it comes to who was the absolute toughest for the man with 1,092 NFL tackles to wrangle, Seattle Seahawks legend Marshawn Lynch earned the top spot easily.

Who is the heaviest hitter of all time? ›

1. Mike Tyson. Whenever there's a discussion about the hardest hitting boxer, Mike Tyson is always mentioned. Known as the baddest man on the planet, Tyson was feared for his punching power.

Who was the hardest hitter in the world? ›

The World of Boxing! Mike Tyson - The Hardest Puncher in Boxing Ever!

Why was Watson suspended NFL? ›

The National Football League has suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for 11 games and fined him $5 million in a settlement, amid accusations of sexual misconduct and assault against him from two dozen women.

How many games has Watson suspended for? ›

Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, receives largest player fine in NFL history. Deshaun Watson and the NFL agreed on an 11-game suspension, putting an end to the appeal over the length of the Browns quarterback's suspension handed down by Sue L.

Why Deshaun Watson didn't get charged? ›

On March 11, a Harris County, Texas, grand jury determined there was not enough evidence to charge Watson with a crime following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Is Deshaun Watson still getting paid by the NFL? ›

Watson then has $46 million in fully guaranteed salary coming each year from 2023 to 2026.

How much did Deshaun pay accusers? ›

Latest Deshaun Watson lawsuit claims he offered each accuser $100K to settle their civil cases.

What was the biggest upset in NFL history? ›

Top 10 upsets in NFL history
  • 1 / 10. Super Bowl IV. ...
  • 2 / 10. Vikings upset 49ers in 1987 playoffs. ...
  • 3 / 10. Super Bowl XXV. ...
  • 4 / 10. Redskins' scabs beat 'America's Team' ...
  • 5 / 10. Jaguars upset Broncos in 1996 playoffs. ...
  • 6 / 10. Super Bowl XXXII. ...
  • 7 / 10. Browns upset Eagles in 1950 opener. ...
  • 8 / 10. Super Bowl XXXVI.

What is the largest fine ever? ›

What was BP's Fine for Deepwater Horizon? According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in 2013, BP paid a record $4billion in criminal fines after the company pled guilty to fourteen criminal charges.

Has an NFL game ever ended 2 to nothing? ›

Throughout the entire course of NFL history, 73 games have ended 0-0. However, that has not happened since the Giants and Detroit Lions did so in 1943. Similarly, five NFL games in history have finished with a score of 2-0.

Who is the hardest hitting NFL player? ›

Jack Tatum

He is known as one of the hardest hitters due to his tackle on Darryl Stingley in 1978, which left him paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life.

Has there ever been a 100 point NFL game? ›

No, an NFL team has never scored 100 points in a game. The Raiders beat the Oilers 52-49 on Sunday to clinch their first division title in 25 years. They were led by quarterback Derek Carr who threw for 447 yards and five touchdowns.

Where does the money go when NFL players are fined? ›

According to the CBA, money collected from fines does not go to the NFL, but is instead donated to charities such as the Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust, which helps former players who are facing financial hardship and those who wish to return to school to earn their college degrees, and the NFL Player Care ...

Who paid the largest criminal fine in America? ›

Pfizer promoted the sale of Bextra for several uses and dosages that the FDA specifically declined to approve due to safety concerns. The company will pay a criminal fine of $1.195 billion, the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the United States for any matter.

What company has the largest criminal fine in US history? ›

In 2009, Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion in a criminal and civil liability lawsuit stemming from the illegal promotion of certain drugs.


1. Former NFL general manager says he expected Deshaun Watson to be suspended for a year
(CBS News)
2. Adam Schefter details Deshaun Watson’s 11-game suspension from the NFL & NFLPA | SportsCenter
3. Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, fined $5M following NFL & NFLPA settlement | SPEAK FOR YOURSELF
4. BREAKING NEWS: Deshaun Watson agrees to settlement, gets 11-games suspension & $5 million fine
(Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show)
5. Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, Fined $5M Following NFL & NFLPA Settlement
6. Cleveland Browns' Deshaun Watson suspended for 11 games | WNT
(ABC News)
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