Steve Johnson's $10K fine is too light

November, 30, 2011
11/30/11
3:25
PM ET
I'm usually against the heavy fines handed out by the NFL. Big hits can equal up to $50,000 or $75,000, which I think is absurd for a collision sport.

But Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson's $10,000 fine for mocking Plaxico Burress' accidental shooting this past Sunday is too light. I think Johnson got off easy.

It's hard to understand the NFL's system for levying fines.

For example, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was fined $10,000 recently for calling his wife on the sideline following a concussion. To suggest Johnson's tasteless display of an event that resulted in jail time for Burress is equal doesn't send the right message. Also, tweeting during a game once cost Chad Ochocinco $25,000. Was that violation worth more than twice the fine Johnson received?

To Johnson’s credit, he apologized to his teammates, coach and eventually to Burress for his antics. Johnson is smart enough to learn from his mistakes and realized pretty early that it wasn't a good idea. Once Johnson pays the fine, it will be time to move on.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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