Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for his involvement in the highly publicized fight at the end of the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game on Nov. 14, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport said other players have also been and will be fined for their roles in the brawl, including those who left the bench during the game.
The fight occurred during the final eight seconds of the Steelers’ 21-7 loss to the Browns, when the Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett violently ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and hit the quarterback in the head with it — resulting in an indefinite suspension and a fine for the former 2017 first overall draft pick.
Rudolph was initially seen fighting with Garrett on the ground before charging at him, which was when Garrett removed his helmet. He said his reason was that Garrett hit him “late” on the play, according to Fox 8.
The quarterback offered an apology for his role in the brawl on Wednesday.
“For my involvement last week, there’s no acceptable excuse,” Rudolph said in a prepared statement, according to ESPN. “The bottom line is I should’ve done a better job keeping my composure in that situation and [not] fall short of what I believe it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and a member of the NFL.”
The fine equates to more than an entire game paycheck for Rudolph, who is still on the second year of his rookie deal. He earns a base salary of $658,267 in 2019, which is $38,721.59 per week.
After the fight, Garrett allegedly told NFL personnel during an appeal hearing that Rudolph directed a racial slur at him before the brawl, which the quarterback denied. The league said on Thursday it “found no such evidence” that a slur was spoken, according to ESPN.
The NFL also suspended Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi for one game and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncy — who retaliated against Garrett — for two games, Fox 8 reported.
Fines are expected to be issued to about 10 players for leaving the bench area and running on the field, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
By David Aaro