NFL says Jay Cutler cannot pay fine for teammate

Jay Cutler might want to help out his buddy when it comes to the NFL fine police, but that’s a major league no-no in the eyes of the league.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett was fined $5,000 last week for violating the league’s uniform policy and wearing orange cleats in the team’s win at Philadelphia. The NFL, in a letter to Bennett, informed him the fine would double on a subsequent violation. What did Bennett do? He wore the orange cleats again Sunday at Soldier Field in a 37-13 demolition of the Detroit Lions, raising the distinct possibility he will be tagged in the wallet once again.

Cutler said on WMVP-AM 1000 that he would pay for Bennett’s first fine.

“I'll pick up the tab,” Cutler told the “Waddle & Silvy Show.” “Why not?”

Because the NFL says so?

“It is not permitted” for one player to pay for another’s fine, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Chicago Tribune in an email.

That seemed to be the plan after the game on Sunday. Cutler was asked in his press conference if he’d help out Bennett, a former teammate at Vanderbilt, again.

“I know,” Cutler said. “Thanks for bringing it up again so he probably gets fined again for sure. He asked me before the game, ‘Yay or nay?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, can’t back out now.’ This game took a little bit of a check out of my wallet.”

The NFL can’t be all places at once and see if one player hands another player a stack of pictures of dead presidents printed on green paper. But the NFL can reach out to Cutler and let him know it’s not a good idea.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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