Tuesday, September 26, 2017 Elyria 66°


Browns rookie QB Johnny Manziel fined $12,000 for giving middle finger to Washington bench


Talk about an expensive bird.

Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 by the NFL on Friday for giving the middle finger to the Washington bench Monday night.

He has the option to appeal.

Washington players yelled at Manziel throughout the game and mocked him by flashing his “money sign” after he was sacked. After Manziel threw an incompletion near the Washington sideline in the third quarter, he stuck up the finger on his way back to the huddle and it was caught by ESPN’s cameras.

Manziel admitted the comments by the Washington players got to him.

“I just need to let it slide off my back and go to the next play,” he said after the game. “I felt like I did a good job of holding my composure throughout the night and you have a lapse of judgment and slip up.

“I get words exchanged with me throughout the entirety of the game, every game, week after week. I should’ve been smarter. It was a ‘Monday Night Football’ game. The cameras were probably solidly on me, so I just need to be smarter about that.”

The gesture didn’t go over well with coach Mike Pettine.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” he said Tuesday. “We talk about play like a Brown. We want our guys to act like a Brown and we want this to be a first-class organization. We have hundreds and thousands of kids come to our training camp practices and look up to our players and that type of behavior is unacceptable.”

It was a bad week for Manziel.

On Wednesday morning, he officially lost the quarterback competition. Pettine named Brian Hoyer the starter for the regular season, and Manziel will begin the year as the backup.

But he still may find his way onto the field. Pettine told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday a package of plays for Manziel is “on the table.”

“We could potentially look at a two-quarterback system down the road,” Pettine said.

On Wednesday, Pettine said that wouldn’t happen at the beginning of the year.

“No, this is Brian’s job,” he said. “I don’t foresee us now, especially early, being in a two-quarterback system.”

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @scottpetrak.

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