Vontaze Burfict, Doug Baldwin fined for raising middle fingers

BySheil Kapadia and Katherine Terrell ESPN logo
Friday, November 25, 2016

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin were each fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct after the players raised middle fingers in separate games Sunday, sources told ESPN.

Burfict stuck both of his middle fingers up toward the stands late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals' 16-12 home loss to the Bills.

The fine is Burfict's second of the season. He was fined $75,000 for allegedly stomping on the leg of Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount.

Burfict also was suspended three games without pay to start the season for violating the NFL's safety policy.

Baldwin was fined after he was seen giving Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell the middle finger during a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the third quarter, Baldwin threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Russell Wilson on a trick play. Before the play, coming out of the huddle, Baldwin flipped Bevell off because, he said, he likes to catch touchdowns in the red zone, not throw them.

"We joked about it," Baldwin said. "I'm sure you guys know now we've been begging for that play for a couple weeks now, trying to get that done. However, I didn't want it in the red zone. I wanted the target in the red zone.

"Typically when we get in the red zone, all the receivers, all the tight ends, we're kind of lobbying for the opportunity to get a pass in the end zone so we can score some touchdowns. It's very seldom that you hear a quarterback lobbying for a pass to himself, which Russell [Wilson] didn't. But it's just the fact that we don't want to literally be throwing away our targets in the red zone."

Bevell had a laugh about Baldwin's gesture on Wednesday.

"Doug and I have a great relationship, first and foremost," Bevell said. "I think Doug in his excitement, when he heard the play called in the huddle and knowing that he was going to get an opportunity to make Seahawk history, he was really excited, and he wanted to tell Bev that he was No. 1. And he just messed up a little bit there. If I could inspire him to make that perfect pass, then I'll go ahead and take it."