The NFL has handed down a hefty fine to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, totaling $35,513 for multiple infractions during a nail-biting 26-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night, according to an official league announcement made on Saturday.

In a game filled with tense moments and dramatic plays, Watson’s actions drew the ire of league officials. The first offense involved Watson and Browns tight end David Njoku making machine gun-firing gestures to celebrate a third-quarter touchdown. Both players were fined $13,659 each for the unsportsmanlike conduct.

Additionally, Watson was penalised for two separate unnecessary roughness violations, resulting in fines of $10,927 each. These penalties were assessed for facemask violations that occurred in the third and fourth quarters. During the first facemask call, Watson appeared to make contact with an official while arguing the play. However, the NFL determined that the contact did not warrant additional punishment.

The NFL issued a statement regarding the incident, stating, “Officials are called upon to maintain order on the field, and sometimes while performing those duties, there is inadvertent contact between players and officials. In this instance, in their judgment, the contact did not rise to the level of a foul.”

Deshaun Watson, who signed a landmark five-year, $250 million contract with the Browns last year, expressed regret over his actions, acknowledging that they were not in line with the league’s standards of conduct. “I take full responsibility for my actions on the field,” Watson stated. “I need to be better and set a positive example for my team and our fans.”

Despite Watson’s efforts, the Browns were unable to secure a victory against the Steelers, who scored a crucial fourth-quarter touchdown to seal their win. With this loss, the Browns’ record stands at 1-1. 

They will look to rebound as they prepare to host the Tennessee Titans (1-1) in a crucial matchup on Sunday.

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