George McCaskey unsure if owners want increased penalties for player misconduct


After the Chicago Bears released Ray McDonald on Monday following his first arrest of the week, ESPN.com colleague Kevin Seifert shed light on the NFL's club-remittance policy; a little known league rule designed to hold teams accountable for the conduct of their players.

Seifert explained that NFL teams can be fined a maximum of $150,000 if they have two players suspended for personal conduct violations or for testing positive to a banned substance. The league caps the fines at $500,000 if clubs have four or more players suspended.

Is this a strong enough deterrent for teams to avoid signing players with questionable character?

Should the league stiffen the penalties and hold clubs more accountable?

Bears team chairman George McCaskey said on Wednesday the topic of increased team punishment has not been discussed among owners.

"I'm honored to serve on the league's Conduct Committee," McCaskey said. "I haven't heard any discussion about that, either on the committee or among the membership. It might be something that would be worth the discussion [but] I don't know that there was any consensus on that issue at all."

The Bears already have one strike against them in the form of offensive lineman Eben Britton's four-game suspension for PEDs. The league has not ruled on McDonald yet, but the defensive end has been arrested twice this week of charges of domestic violence, child endangerment and violating a restraining order. The NFL has also not decided whether to punish McDonald for a December incident in which a female accused him of sexual assault.

Here is the entire club-remittance policy fine scale, courtesy of Seifert's story:

  • One suspension: no remittance due

  • Two suspensions: 15 percent of suspended players' base salaries during time of suspension, up to $150,000

  • Three suspensions: 25 percent of same, up to $250,000

  • Four or more suspensions: 33 percent of same, up to $500,000.