Cleveland Brown's Johnny Manziel could not let his game do the talking; he made his middle finger express his disgust instead.
The controversial quarterback struggled during Monday's preseason loss to the Washington Redskins that saw the Browns bow to a 24-23 final score. To make matters worse, he made an obscene gesture towards his opponents. After failing to complete a pass at the 2:28 mark of the third quarter, Manziel turned towards the Redskins bench and flashed his middle finger.
According to ESPN, Manziel clarified that he was reacting to some choice words given by the bench critical of his performance and added that he should have been more mature of his reactions towards the provocation.
"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," Manziel said.
During the postgame news press conference, Mazniel broke out a smile and laugh when asked if he was in the wrong for the incident. He just repeated that the lack of composure resulted to the gesture. Luckily, the quarterback was penalized by the league when such act could be held accountable for unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting.
Manziel was not penalized heavily, though he could have been for unsportsmanlike conduct or taunting. Still, he will be required to pay a fine of almost $11,000.
His gesture coupled with his poor performance makes the job of Browns coach Mike Pettine harder when it comes to choosing the starting quarterback in the upcoming NFL season. The veteran mentor's coaches are down to Manziel and Brian Hoyer who also did not do so well in limited minutes. The no. 22 pick in the draft only completed 7 of 16 passes during the friendly match good for 65 yards and a touchdown while Hoyer was only 2 for 6 in passes resulting to 16 yards.
Nevertheless, the middle finger incident still takes the highlight of day as it exposes the young quarterback's ability to manage pressure and taunts by opponents. Washington's Brian Orakpo gave Manziel his patented Drake/money gesture after a teammate sacked him in the first quarter and the Brown's quarterback relayed that some choice words were also exchanged that prompted him to respond.