Sunday, July 3, 2022

Commanders’ Ron Rivera fined for OTAs violations, NFL to also levy 2023 penalty against team

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Ron Rivera has something in common with Mike McCarthy, and it’s not simply that they both coach teams in the NFC East. McCarthy was fined $100,000 this week by the NFL because Cowboys OTAs were allegedly too physical, and Rivera can now relate. The Washington Commanders head coach also received notice of a $100,000 fine he must also pay, and for the same reason — per NFL Network.

The league will also delete two of the Commanders practices in 2023 OTAs, one more than what the Cowboys will be docked next offseason, with the league treating it as a repeat infraction for Rivera as well. 

This news arrives not only in tandem with that of the Cowboys, but also the Houston Texans, with newly-installed head coach Lovie Smith being fined $50,000 for running offensive line vs. defensive line drills that are prohibited in OTAs. While Smith is in his first year as head coach of the Texans, this isn’t his first rodeo, having long coached in the league, including stints as head coach of the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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The NFL is watching, and closely, as minicamps end and training camps ready to fire up in late July. 

And the message is rather clear: follow the letter of the law as it relates to the collective bargaining agreement’s stance on offseason practices, or pay up. The CBA restricts the amount of contact that can be had in offseason practice(s), and the league is sending quite a few expensive reminders in June.

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