Brooke PryorESPN Staff Writer2 Minute Read
PITTSBURGH — Despite garnering his second hefty fine for unnecessary roughness this season, Steelers running back Jaylen Warren remains steadfast in his blocking technique.
“It’s frustrating because it’s a substantial amount of money,” Warren admitted. “But I refuse to alter my style of play. Honestly, if I were faced with the same situation, I would do the exact same thing. It’s what earned me a spot on this team.”
Signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent after training camp in 2022, Warren was fined $48,556 for his block on Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Michael Hoecht during pass protection.
“I received two fines last year, and yet here I am still employing the same strategy,” Warren stated, highlighting that the NFL takes into account his previous disciplinary actions when calculating fines. “It’s a tough position. How am I expected to take on opponents who outweigh me by 350 pounds and tower over me by a couple of feet? Standing my ground and trying to punch them won’t work. They’ll just run me over. So I resort to the hitting method, even though it comes at a cost.”
Warren added, “I’ve seen other players intentionally engage in worse actions than mine, and they didn’t even receive half the fines I did.”
Comparatively, Hoecht stands at 6-5 and weighs 310 pounds, while Warren measures at 5-8 and weighs 215 pounds.
Warren signed a three-year, $2.57 million contract with the Steelers, earning $870,000 this season. The fines, however, have cost him nearly two game checks.
“That’s a significant amount of money,” Warren exclaimed. “I’d be upset even if I were fined $2,000. But $50,000 is outrageous. It’s a whole car. Money that could greatly benefit my family.”
Warren expressed his support for a fine structure based on player salaries to prevent players like himself from losing such a substantial portion of their income.
“I spoke with one of the coaches, and they agree,” Warren shared about the severity of his penalties. “I get fined the same amount as players like T.J. [Watt]. It’s the same dollar figure.”
Earlier in the season, Warren was fined the identical amount for unnecessary roughness after using his helmet to fend off Cleveland Browns safety Juan Thornhill and gain extra yards at the end of a run. Although he appealed the fine, it was only reduced by $9,000.
“They reduced it from $48,000 to $39,000, but I don’t consider that a victory,” Warren remarked with disappointment.
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