Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett was fined $5,000 for wearing orange cleats, which violated the league’s uniform policy, against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football in Week 9.
The Eagles was his first after missing five games with a chest injury, and Bennett caught five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Given his production, Bennett again wore the orange cleats against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, catching six passes for 81 yards in the 37-13 win.
ESPN Chicago reports that Bennett disclosed on ESPN 1000 that he will be fined $10,000 for wearing the cleats against the Lions, and faces of $15,000 and $20,000 if he wears them two more times before he faces a possible ejection if he wears them for a fifth time.
“After that (games against San Diego and Oakland) I’ve heard that they are going to call (a) delay of game and maybe kick me out of the game,” Bennett said.
Before taxes, Bennett’s game checks are worth $70,588 and his latest fine represents a pretty steep “footwear” tax. Wearing them again on Sunday would result in a fine of over 20 percent of his pretax earnings, which may be enough for a player who is guaranteed nothing beyond the next seven weeks to keep the orange cleats in his locker, or wear them during pregame warmups before going to shoes that fall within the uniform policy.