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Where does the money from NFL fines go?

About $4 million per year is donated to help former NFL players with medical expenses and financial hardship.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fines in the NFL range from $2,893 to $57,881 depending on the severity of a violation and are handed down to dozens of players every week. All that money accrued through fines is used to fund a pair of programs agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association that help former players.

According to the NFL, about $4 million per year has gone to help former players and fines currently go to the NFL Player Care Foundation and the Gene Upshaw Players Association's Player Assistance Trust. While players often request their fines go to a specific charity or cause, the NFL doesn't cater to those requests and doesn't divert funds away from the two agreed upon organizations to help former players.

The NFL Player Care Foundation is an independent organization that helps "retired players improve their quality of life, provides programs and assistance with medical, emotional, financial, social and community issues." While the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust "assists former players who are facing financial hardship due to unforeseen crisis, unaffordable medical situations and helps those who wish to go back to school to finish their undergraduate degrees."

While the list of potential fines are extensive, these are a few of the infractions:

Violation 1st offense 2nd offense
Face mask $8,681 $17,363
Late hit $8,681 $17,363
Roughing the passer $17,363 $34,728
Hit on defensless player $23,152 $46,305
Fighting $28,940 $57,881
Taunting $8,681 $11,576
Uniform/Equipment violations $5,787 $11,576
Verbal/nonphysical offense against official $23,152 $46,305

Fined players receive a letter of their violation, a video of the play in question and the amount of the punishment and have the right to appeal. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks and former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver James Thrash currently serve as the league's appeal officers and hear the league's case and player's defense.

Fines are withheld from a player's next game check.

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