CINCINNATI -- The NFL this week handed out almost $140,000 in fines to seven players from Sunday's Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game, a league source confirmed Friday.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was the big fine earner, drawing $69,454 for three separate plays: roughing the passer, a face mask pull and unnecessary roughness. One of the plays he drew a fine for came in the first half of the Steelers' 33-20 win when he dove low into Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's feet. Burfict contended he was pushed and ended up down there.
"I don't buy he was pushed," Roethlisberger said during an appearance on Pittsburgh's 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday. "I think he was definitely diving low for my legs."
Asked to comment on Roethlisberger's claim, Burfict told ESPN on Wednesday: "It's football."
Burfict is planning to appeal all three fines. If they are upheld, he will have incurred a total of just less than $147,000 in fines in his career.
Before these three fines, Burfict had received four across the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Two of the 2013 fines came in the same game, an early-season contest against the Green Bay Packers, including one for striking Packers tight end Ryan Taylor in the groin. He was fined $25,000 last season for deliberately twisting the ankles of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and tight end Greg Olsen.
Along with Burfict, Steelers safety Mike Mitchell was fined $23,152 for a hit on a defenseless player. On the Bengals' first drive, Mitchell delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit, which he was penalized for, on Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert. Although Eifert finished the drive, he left the game by the end of the first quarter, was placed under the concussion protocol and has already been declared out for Sunday's game at San Francisco.
Steelers David DeCastro, Antonio Brown, Will Gay and Brandon Boykin were fined $8,681 each, bringing the team's total to $57,876.
DeCastro received that amount after cameras caught him pulling on the face mask of Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry at the bottom of a pile. The scrum started after Burfict had pushed Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix into the pile after whistles had blown. It appeared Burfict's momentum took him into the pile and subsequently on top of DeCastro.
Brown was punished for a crack-back block, and Gay and Boykin were fined for excessive celebration.
Perhaps the strangest fine of all was the $11,572 figure Bengals receiver A.J. Green drew for punting a football into the stands. It was the second time he had thrown or punted a ball into the crowd this year. In Week 5 against Seattle, Green threw a ball well into the lower level after a touchdown. The score wouldn't stand, though, negated by a holding penalty, and Green was fined $5,787 for the toss.
While the NFL has no issue with football's being handed to fans from players, it will fine those who launch the ball into the crowd, creating a safety issue.
Green's punt came at the end of a 66-yard touchdown pass from AJ McCarron, who had just taken over for the injured Andy Dalton. It was McCarron's first career touchdown pass.
The Bengals had been fined five times this season entering Week 14.
ESPN staff writer Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.