If Jimmy Graham thought the NFL was not serious about fining particular post-touchdown celebrations, he likely is now. The NFL fined the New Orleans Saints tight end $30,000 on Friday for twice dunking over the goalpost during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans last week.
Graham had said it would be “unfortunate” if he got fined for the dunks in an exhibition game. It turned out to be costly. Still, he does not understand why the league would eliminate a celebration that is “not hurting anyone.”
“It’s unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it’s fun for me,” Graham said. “And I feel like a little kid out there, and sometimes I act like it.”
He has to tone down the post-touchdown routine, unless he does not mind paying a price for the hijinks. To make matters worse, Graham’s dunks also drew the ire of his coach, Sean Payton, as the dunk is also a penalty.
And because of that, Graham later insisted he would never do anything to hurt the team during the regular season. Translation: No more dunking.
Under the league’s fine schedule for unsportsmanlike penalties, players can be fined $11,025 for their first offense and $22,050 for their second if the league feels they’re warranted. Similarly, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 for making an obscene gesture toward the Washington Redskins’ bench Monday, according to ESPN.
Meanwhile, Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson also insisted that he will not celebrate a score by slam-dunking the goalposts, either. “I’m not letting [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell get in my pockets,” Johnson said.