Steelers Running Back Jaylen Warren Fined Again for Unnecessary Roughness
By Brooke Pryor
PITTSBURGH — Despite incurring a second massive fine for unnecessary roughness this season, Steelers running back Jaylen Warren remains steadfast in his blocking style.
“I mean, it’s tough because it’s a significant amount of money,” Warren expressed. “But I won’t let it affect my game. If… I don’t know if I should say this, but even if I were in the same situation, I would still do what I do. It’s what got me on the team.”
Warren, who joined the Steelers as an undrafted free agent after training camp in 2022, was fined $48,556 for a block on Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Michael Hoecht during pass protection.
“I received two fines last year, and I’m still facing them this year,” Warren revealed, highlighting that the NFL takes into account his previous disciplinary actions when calculating the fines. “It’s quite challenging. I don’t know how I’m expected to take on guys who weigh around 350 pounds and are two feet taller than me. I can’t hold my ground and try to punch them. They’ll just run me over. So, I try to enforce the hit, even though it ends up costing me.”
Warren added, “There are instances where I’ve seen players intentionally do worse things, and they don’t even receive half the fines I do.”
Hoecht, listed at 6-5, 310 pounds, towers over Warren, who stands at 5-8, 215 pounds.
Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt defended his teammate, pointing out that Warren is not the only player using his helmet during blocks, which appears to be the determining factor in the fines.
“They should also consider tight ends cutting, as they lead with their helmets inside the box,” Watt argued. “As a defender, it seems like offensive players are increasingly leading with their heads.”
Warren signed a three-year, $2.57 million contract with the Steelers, earning $870,000 this season. The fines, he revealed, have cost him nearly two game checks.
“That’s a substantial amount of money,” Warren lamented. “It’s a significant sum. If I were fined $2,000, I would still be upset. But $50,000 is outrageous. That’s the price of a whole car. It’s money I could be providing for my family.”
Watt echoed Warren’s sentiments, stating, “I find it extremely unfair that a player like him is being fined such an exorbitant amount. It’s ridiculous.”
Warren expressed his support for a fine structure that takes into account players’ salaries, preventing them from losing such a significant portion of their earnings.
“I discussed this with one of the coaches, and they share the same view,” Warren disclosed regarding his hefty penalties. “I get fined the same amount as players like T.J. would. I receive the same fine.”
Earlier this season, Warren faced the same fine for unnecessary roughness after illegally using his helmet to fend off Cleveland Browns safety Juan Thornhill and gain extra yards at the end of a run. Warren appealed the fine, resulting in a reduction of $9,000.
“I mean, it was reduced from $48,000 to $39,000, if you want to call that a victory. I consider it a loss,” Warren concluded.