Commanders’ Ron Rivera Fined $100K by NFL for ‘Excessive Contact’ During OTA’s

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Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Friday, one week after levying the same fine on defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. 

According to ESPN reporter Dan Graziano, Rivera was fined $100k for “excessive contact in spring drills,” and the organization has been stripped of two OTA practices in 2023. 

The NFL informed the Commanders in a letter to general manager Martin Mayhew, detailing that a review found “excessive contact” between players, with two Commanders players running into each other in a practice on June 8. 

“We’ve just got to be careful and work with each other,” Rivera told the media after the collision, per ESPN. “The last thing we want is somebody to be hurt. There’s a certain discipline that I try to get across to the guys that they understand that when we talk about doing things a specific way, there’s a reason why. We don’t want to see guys get hurt.

“I really appreciate the way they practice, the way they practice hard and they get competitive every now and then, but we’ve got to have the discipline to understand.”

Graziano also reported that Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith was fined $50,000 for allowing 1-on-1 OL vs DL drills, which are prohibited during offseason workouts.

The news comes one week after Rivera announced that he would be handing down a $100,000 fine to Del Rio after the defensive coordinator compared the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol to riots of 2020 following the death of George Floyd. 

In a statement, Rivera said that the organization “will not tolerate equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the actions of those on Jan. 6 who sought to topple our government.”

Rivera further explained his decision to fine Del Rio $100k, telling reporters prior to the start of Washington’s minicamp that Del Rio’s comments were a “distraction.” 


“This is about him impacting the football team. That’s the thing we all have to understand,” Rivera said Tuesday. “I believe in the first amendment very strongly… So in Jack’s case same thing. But the thing we all have to understand with these rights, these freedoms, comes a tremendous responsibility and we have to understand that as well.

“And so this is about the impact that was made on our football team, the distraction it has become. It’s a very serious question and topic, but at the end of the day, it did impact us and that’s why I did what I did.”

Washington players will report to training camp July 26.

Written by Joe Morgan


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