Football / Sports

Browns rookie QB Johnny Manziel fined $12,000 for flipping bird

Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has been fined $12,000 by the NFL for directing a middle-finger salute at Washington's bench Monday night in a preseason game, a source familiar with the situation confirmed for the Beacon Journal on Friday.

The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the NFL has yet to announce the fine. ESPN and NFL Network first reported the fine Friday morning.

Manziel, the No. 22 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, is still contemplating whether he will appeal the fine, according to NFL Network's report. The fine, which is more than the league's $11,025 minimum for the offense, could be reduced to 25 percent of Manziel's weekly check, or about $6,000, if he were to win an appeal.

"I get words exchanged with me throughout the entirety of the game, every game, week after week," Manziel said Monday night. "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.

"I just need to let it slide off my back and go to the next play. 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."

Browns coach Mike Pettine also expressed his disappointment when speaking to media after the game.

"It does not sit well," Pettine said Monday. "I was informed of it after the game. It's disappointing because what we talk about is being poised and being focused, that you have to be able to maintain your poise. That's a big part of all football players, especially the quarterback. We have to keep our composure. That's something we'll obviously address."

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