NFL fines Browns QB DeShaun Watson $35K for gun celebration, unnecessary roughness

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns warms up at Acrisure Stadium on September 18, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns faced discipline from the league, after all. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShaun Watson wasn’t in the clear when the NFL announced he wouldn’t be punished for pushing an official during Monday night’s 26-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The 28-year-old apparently gave the league multiple other instances of discipline-worthy material worth a reported $35,513 in fines, according to multiple reports.

One of the three fines Watson was assessed came in response to a “violent gesture” he made in celebration of a touchdown during the third quarter, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. He and tight end David Njoku made made mirroring shooting motions that will cost them both $13,659.

The other two fines were for unnecessary roughness after he received two penalties for separate facemask infractions.

Watson answered to both of those infractions after the loss:

Both [penalties were] my fault, but as far as the facemask and things like that, I’m stiff-arming just like everyone else,” he said. “And once they grab my arm as I’m running, they keep pushing, only way I can really let go is to swing across. And once they do that, my hand is stuck in their helmet or in their facemask, so I gotta do a better job of just hitting them with the palm, I guess, and just releasing as much as I can so we don’t get those penalties.”

It was a rough night overall for Watson, whose return from suspension has been anything but triumphant. In addition to dropping to 1-1, receiving two penalties and the subsequent fines, he was picked off on the game’s opening play for a touchdown and went on to fumble twice. One of those fumbles was recovered by Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt for the game-winning score.

WT(Fine), NFL?

Beyond Watson’s fines, the league issued a few other interesting sanctions.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren was fined $48,333 for a play in Week 2. The league claims he should have been flagged for illegal use of the helmet after he dipped his head into a defender while running with the ball, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

It’s a hefty price tag for the undrafted free agent, who is set to make $874,000 this season, per Spotrac.

His agent, David Carter, took to social media to make it clear he and his client won’t be accepting the charge without making a case:

The NFL also reportedly did not fine Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for the hit to Browns running back Nick Chubb’s left knee on Monday night. While the play ended Chubb’s season, it was seemingly legal.

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