I was kind of surprised – but not really. This afternoon, the NFL officially announced they were fining Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield due to unsportsmanlike conduct. The $10,000 fine comes on the heels of last Sunday’s game against Cincinnati when Baker now infamously stared down Hue Jackson while back-stepping away from the former Cleveland head coach.
“The NFL handed Mayfield a fine of $10,026 for unsportsmanlike conduct, the result of an apparent lewd gesture he made toward Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens in Sunday’s 26-18 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.” – ESPN
As for the conduct itself, I understand the fine. The $10k hit, considering Baker’s signing bonus, is peanuts in the grand scheme of things. Still, I’m sure he would’ve liked to have hung onto that purse. Regardless, there is no appeal in the works from Camp Mayfield. With all that being said, does that mean I wish he wouldn’t have stared down Hue or made whatever gesture he’s accused of? Absolutely not.
Some people are probably asking why Baker can’t just act more like Andrew Luck or Drew Brees. The answer is quite simple. He’s not Andrew Luck or Drew Brees. Baker is being Baker and he’ll display that swagger and confidence like an I-90 billboard. This is all part of how he plays the game. Once the whistle is blown, Mayfield is still planning, adjusting, playing the sidelines, you name it.
Now I don’t quite know what a day at the league HQ is like for those reviewing video, but I don’t recall last weekend’s games being full questionable on-field behavior. The fact this took nearly a full week to address is a little odd. Slow news day for the NFL? Perhaps. One thing I do know is that if Baker keeps toying with the opposition like he did against Cincy, those watching film at the league headquarters are going to have to start putting in some overtime.
Image: New York Post