No Joke: NFL Fines Bears' Conte $21k

This Thursday, Bears Safety Chris Conte nearly lost his mind.

That's the day he received a fine for $21,000 from the NFL league office for a hit on the Panther's Brandon LaFell. 

"At first I thought it was a prank," Conte said within earshot of Head Coach Lovie Smith in the hallways of Halas Hall.  

"It wasn't!" Smith yelled over.  

Conte knew his teammates weren't fooling on him, "I found out very quickly it wasn't a prank!

He also found out that it's a lot of money.

"It hurt's," he said. "It's a whole game check." 

Lovie Smith even chuckled at the thought his "star" defense might want to chip in to help the second year pro pay the fine. 

"No, it has one guy's name on it that's fined and they normally let him pay it," Smith said.  "No fundraisers, its the NFL and guys make a lot of money that's what y'all say.  Guys make a lot of money? So i'm sure they can handle that fine.  What's a $21,000 fine y'know?" 

Smith insists his coaches won't change the way they coach Conte, and the Safety won't change the way he plays either.  "I don't think you can let stuff like that affect you, just got to go out there and play... if it happens, it happens, you obviously want to change the way you go in to someone or try and approach them and then tackle them instead of maybe aiming as high you want to aim a little lower." 

Conte also said he didn't realize LaFell no longer had the ball, insisting it's difficult to change angles the last second. 

"Unfortunately I got fined, unfortunate play for me, luckily he's alright and hopefully he's not having any trouble now with the head injury." 

In the meantime, it'll mean box lunches from the Halas Hall cook, and some Subway & McDonald's for Conte.

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