BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was fined more than $12,000 for his criticisms of the officiating in a 32-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13, but the second-year quarterback received good news on that front Wednesday.
While teammates Larry Ogunjobi and Myles Garrett were going through the appeals process for their punishments stemming from last Thursday’s brawl with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mayfield heard from the league that he won his hearing and the fine was rescinded.
“That is fantastic,” Mayfield said with a wry smile after practice at team headquarters in Berea. “Emily is happy about that. More money in our pocket.”
Mayfield never has been afraid to express his own opinions, and his musings after the loss to the Seahawks initially hit him where it hurts…in his wallet.
Mayfield did not hold back when asked about the officiating, specifically as it relates to a blindside block penalty against wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the third quarter that helped unravel a potential response drive for the Browns after the Seahawks had taken their first lead of the game.
“The refs are never an excuse,” Mayfield said shortly after the loss.
“I will probably get fined for saying this, but it was pretty bad today. The guy is squared up with him, running at him and he is lowering his head into Jarvis. What is he supposed to do? Avoid him? This is not bull fighting. I don’t know. It ticks me off.”
The Browns faced a second-and-13 from their own 22-yard line when Mayfield took the shotgun snap from center JC Tretter and threw a short pass to running back Nick Chubb for a four-yard gain, a play that was sprung by a block from Landry.
Landry appeared to hit Seahawks free safety Marquise Blair, shoulder to shoulder, and it was the defender who was rushing toward the ball and initiated the contact.
The penalty was not the only problem the Browns had with the officiating, as another play involving Landry drew an impassioned response from the Cleveland sideline.
With the Browns facing a fourth-and-goal from the Seattle one-yard line, Mayfield took the snap and quickly fired a throw to Landry on the right side of the formation. Landry fumbled the ball into the end zone after appearing to break the plane of the goal line.
Because the Seahawks were penalized for having 12 men on the field, the Browns would get another chance at the play, but before running back Nick Chubb was stopped short on a fourth-and-goal run, Kitchens challenged the initial play.
Ultimately, after a lengthy review, the Browns lost the challenge and a timeout, their first of the second half.
“It is pretty obvious to me, but that wasn’t the call,” fellow wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said. “We don’t sit here and talk about the referees. I have never been one to do that. The call was what it was. You have to respect the call and keep it moving. It is tough.
“It is like complaining about life. You can complain, but is it going to get anything done? There is nothing that can be said and there is nothing that we can do right now to change any call. It’s the bottom line, so why would I waste time even talking about it?”