Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte thought the notice he received was a joke, but the $21k he has to come up is no laughing matter:
“I thought someone was playing a joke on me at first,” Conte said. “I didn’t think it was real at first. I thought it was a prank. I know (kicker) Robbie (Gould) has done it a few times to guys, or they’ll make up a fake email or something and it will be like, you got fined for whatever. And that’s what I thought it was. And then I looked on the Web site and it wasn’t a joke. I was a little surprised because I was expecting a FedEx (notice) to come and then I just saw a piece of paper that was just like an e-mail and that’s why I thought someone was playing a joke on me. But it was no joke. That’s for sure.
A $21,000 fine doesn’t seem like much when we think of the millionaires in the NFL, but consider a second year former third round pick who’s still playing out a rookie contract it’s a decent chunk of change:
“It hurts a lot. That’s a big chunk of the money that I make and I think it’s kind of unfair to fine a guy that is still in his rookie contract that much money but hopefully they’ll look at it and at least get it reduced.”
Consider Conte makes about $27,500 per game and he basically played for free last week. Conte had another close call last week on a big hit, but the flag was picked up. If you think the hefty (for him) fine might influence his play of the field, fear not, Conte won’t change his style of play:
“Not at all,” he said. “I don’t think you can let it affect you. You’ve got to play football the way you play football and be aggressive and I guess these things are just a part of the NFL now and it comes with the job.”
Last week vs the Panthers was probably his toughest game of the season. Let’s hope he can keep up his level of play and have a bounce back game vs the Titans.