Melbourne defender Steven May has copped a fine worth $1,875 ($1,250 early plea) for his staging performance during Saturday night's clash with North Melbourne at the MCG.

In the third term of the contest, May is tackled by Kangaroos forward Eddie Ford, who spun him around before bringing him to the ground.

Despite the umpire not calling the whistle much earlier and allowing the play to go on longer than it has in recent weeks, the former Sun took the opportunity to clutch at his head, which subsequently earned him a free kick.

Ford was penalised for a dangerous tackle, with the umpire assuming May's head was slammed into the MCG turf when on replay it wasn't.

Under the AFL's laws of the game, the 32-year-old should expect to reach into his pocket to pay a fine, given the fact that the act of staging is deemed a reportable offence.

The rule stipulates: "Staging can include, but is not limited to excessive exaggeration of contact in an unsportsmanlike manner. Staging is a Reportable offence as it may:

"Affect umpires' decision-making; Incite a melee; and/or not be in the spirit of the game (unsportsmanlike)."

Teammate Alex Neal-Bullen weighed in on the incident on Sunday.

"It's (playing for free kicks) something, as a tackler, you're well aware of, I guess the force and angle you're coming in on," Neal-Bullen said on 3AW.

"And you probably put that on the responsibility of the bloke getting tackled and also for the umpire officiating the game to be consistent in that area.

"It's obviously tough but we need to make sure as players we're doing our part trying to lay a tackle but not with the aggression or intensity that could potentially hurt someone.

"And also, as a player, not trying to enforce a free-kick if potentially it isn't there but the game is so hard to officiate and we, as players, just want consistency from both ends."

Elsewhere, Port Adelaide star Zak Butters was whacked with  $10,000 ($6,250 early plea) for his off-the-ball strike on Brisbane's Jarrod Berry.

Thus is Butters' fourth offence this season, prompting a much larger fine than usual as well as a week after his successful tribunal trip for his rough conduct charge on GWS' Tom Green.