NFL fines Saints' Brown $25,000 after Sunday fracas

Updated: January 4, 2008, 9:56 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

New Orleans Saints left offensive tackle Jammal Brown has been fined $25,000 by the NFL for impermissible contact with a game official during last Sunday's season-ending loss to the Chicago Bears.

The fine, which Brown is expected to appeal, was first reported on Friday by the Chicago Sun-Times. League officials confirmed the unusually stiff sanction on Friday evening.

On a third-and-three play that occurred about four minutes into the game, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for wide receiver Marques Colston. A hard hit by Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs jarred the ball free, resulting in an incompletion. As the play ended, members of both teams engaged in some shoving and the officials were forced to separate the players.

During the skirmish, Brown threw a punch, but the three-year veteran was not penalized.

In the league's routine review of videotape from the game, it was determined that Brown, a first-round choice in the 2005 draft, made contact with one of the game officials. That contact resulted in the fine.

Bears wide receiver and return specialist Devin Hester was also fined $5,000 for an unnecessary roughness call that occurred later in the same quarter.

Hester caught a 10-yard pass and, in attempting to add yards after the reception, stiff-armed New Orleans cornerback Jason Craft. In doing so, however, Hester grabbed Craft's facemask, resulting in a 15-yard penalty.

Instead of having a first down at the Chicago 38-yard line, the Bears were set back to their own 23-yard line.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.