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NFL Fines on Reid and Mahomes are Excessive

On Saturday, the NFL slapped fines on Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid and Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The message from the league was clear: you can’t talk badly about the officials, even though the eyes don’t deceive the reality of the situation.

I thought Freedom of Speech was a God-given right of everyone in America. However, in the eyes of the NFL, that does not apply without a cost. On Saturday, the NFL fined Kansas City Chiefs, Head Coach Andy Reid, $100,000, and Quarterback Patrick Mahomes $50,000 for their outburst after the Bills game last Sunday.

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First off, I was anything but surprised by the fines. However, the amounts were excessive, sending the wrong message to the fans. Yes, Reid and Mahomes went a bit too far for NFL standards, but they didn’t cross such a line that their remarks warranted anything more than a slap on the wrist.

The NFL sent a direct message to every head coach and player that they will not tolerate any disparaging comments regarding officials. It’s a sad message because the inconsistency of officiating, which the league office has celebrated, shows how out of touch they are with the spirit of the game.

The tape doesn’t lie!

I’m a vast Roger Goodell fan; I met him twice and talked football with him twice, and he seems to look at things with a commonsense tone. This week, he defended the officials on the call that negated a Mahomes to Kelce to Toney touchdown on Sunday. To be fair, he is correct. The call was accurate. However, it happened earlier in the game and was not called or warned, as has been the case for two decades now; Goodell dropped the football.

The Chiefs were mad after the bitter Bills loss, and they have every right to be upset about multiple calls the last two weeks. However, Reid and Mahomes only told the truth. Even Toney told reporters on Thursday that, despite the NFL stating he had been warned for offsides earlier in the game, he denied that that had occurred.

The NFL has an officiating problem that won’t be solved anytime soon. The NFL is indeed Judge and Jury in these cases, and for the good of the game and the harmony with the Officiating Union, Goodell had little choice but to lay down a steep fine.

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The Chiefs brand carries weight in the NFL, and as much as the league needs Mahomes, Kelce, and Taylor Swift on television, they should also have given them some benefit of the doubt. The league knows they have a problem with officials, but they can’t do anything about it except stick to the message not to criticize them under any circumstance.

They have created a review system for officials who consistently make bad calls. However, there is no punishment for specific crews’ blunders from one game to the next. The NFL has the power to use instant replay to correct bad calls on the field, but they don’t.

Instead, the only penalty they receive for doing a poor job on the field is that they won’t get post-season assignments.

I’ve said this often: the game is too fast for some officials. Perhaps we need more on the field, or perhaps there needs to be an age restriction, or further, they must pass specific athletic stipulations.

We know they’ll never be full-time employees, and it’s an absolute certainty a blown call will bounce a team out of the playoffs.

In other Chiefs news, Kansas City officially ruled out Wide Receiver Justyn Ross from Sunday’s game at New England. In addition, they waived Linebacker Darius Harris and signed Safety Deon Bush to the active roster.  They also elevated Nose Tackle Mike Pennel and Running back Generic Prince, making them eligible to play Sunday.

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