Withdrawal fee: NFL fines Jones-Drew $7,500 for ATM stunt
JACKSONVILLE -- After he scored on a 52-yard run in last week's 17-7 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, an exuberant Maurice Jones-Drew decided to have a little fun, and he staged a celebration in which he used the goal post to simulate an ATM machine.
"It was pretty cool," said the Jacksonville Jaguars' second-year tailback afterwards. "We laughed our way all the way to the bank."
But as a result, Jones-Drew is now going to have to make a real-life withdrawal from his bank account, and it's no laughing matter.
The league on Friday fined Jones-Drew $7,500 for what is said was a violation of the rule which stipulates a player cannot use a prop as part of a celebration. It is not yet known if Jones-Drew will appeal the fine.
The play came in the second quarter when Jones-Drew bolted through a hole up the middle and sped past the Kansas City secondary for the score. He then went to the goal post and, as a few teammates looked on, simulated punching in his account number, and then removing his deposit.
Apprised during the week that he might be sanctioned by NFL officials, Jones-Drew pointed out that he had not used the ball as a prop, which is not permitted. But league officials said that the goal post is considered a prop and that a player cannot use it as part of a rehearsed celebration, and fined Jones-Drew for his actions.
The touchdown was the first of the season for Jones-Drew, a second-round draft choice from UCLA in 2006 who rushed for 941 yards and 13 touchdowns as a rookie. In four games this season, Jones-Drew has carried 42 times for 182 yards.
Jones-Drew, 22, has a base salary of $360,000 for 2007.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.