Mayfield hit draws $26,739 fine for Bucs safety

The NFL has fined Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead $26,739 for unnecessary roughness against Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The league had said Friday that Whitehead should have been penalized for striking Mayfield in the side of the helmet during Sunday’s 26-23 overtime win for Tampa Bay.

Mayfield was sliding at the end of a 35-yard scramble when he got hit by Whitehead, who was initially penalized before the officials conferred and decided to pick up the flag — and one against Mayfield for taunting.

First-year referee Shawn Hochuli made the situation worse by incorrectly announcing Mayfield “was still a runner and therefore is allowed to be hit in the head.”

“No words,” Mayfield said later in the week about Hochuli’s announcement. “Honestly, no words. … I thought that’s why they put the rule in.”

Whitehead can appeal to have the fine reduced since it nearly equals an entire game check. Any player can have a fine reduced if it is for more than 25 percent of his weekly pay.

Also fined:

  • Panthers safety Eric Reid, $10,026 for unnecessary roughness for his hit on Eagles tight end Zach Ertz

  • Bengals safety Shawn Williams, $20,054 for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit against the Chiefs. Williams also was fined $10,026 for a Week 1 hit on Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

  • Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, $10,026 for a chop block.

  • Cowboys guard Connor Williams, $10,026 for a chop block.

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson was not fined by the NFL for throwing a ball at an official, which had been called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Information from ESPN’s Jenna Laine and Rich Cimini and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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