Manziel Fined $12,000 by NFL for Flashing Middle Finger in Game

Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 for flashing his middle finger during a National Football League preseason game this week.

The Cleveland Browns’ rookie quarterback made the obscene gesture during the team’s road loss to the Washington Redskins on Aug. 18. The game was televised nationally on ESPN.

Manziel was fined for “unsportsmanlike conduct,” NFL spokesman Jon Zimmer said yesterday in an e-mail.

After the Washington game, Manziel said he lost his composure and needs to be smarter. Browns coach Mike Pettine agreed.

“It did not sit well,” he said, according to ESPN. “I was informed of it after the game and it’s disappointing. Because what we talk about is being poised and being focused -- that you have to be able to maintain your poise.”

Related -- The Real Cost of a Middle Finger: Obscene

Manziel, 21, was the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft after two seasons at Texas A&M University, where he won the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player as a freshman. The Browns announced three days ago that he would start the season as the team’s second-string quarterback behind Brian Hoyer.

During his time at Texas A&M, Manziel also drew attention for his actions off the field. That included a 2012 arrest in connection with a fight, a 2013 suspension for violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules and his dismissal from the Manning Passing Academy last summer after oversleeping and missing meetings.

Manziel in June signed a four-year rookie contract with the Browns. While terms of the deal weren’t announced, the NFL rookie wage scale projects the contract to be worth around $8.25 million.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan was fined $50,000 in 2010 for flipping his middle finger at a mixed martial arts event in Florida. Bud Adams, the deceased former owner of the Tennessee Titans, was fined $250,000 for flashing both middle fingers at a game in 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net Rob Gloster

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