Peyton Manning is getting feisty in his old age. On Saturday, the 38-year-old quarterback drew his first-ever flag for taunting, and today the NFL slapped him with an $8,268 fine for his unruly behavior.
Actually, Manning had a pretty good excuse. During Saturday’s preseason game against Houston, Texans safety D.J. Swearinger laid out Broncos receiver Wes Welker with a huge hit (shown below), giving the slot receiver his third concussion in 10 months.
Swearinger was given a unnecessary roughness penalty for the play, but Manning was not satisfied. First, the quarterback exacted his revenge the way one would expect — by throwing a touchdown pass on the very next play. Then Manning ran downfield, but not to congratulate Emmanuel Sanders, who had caught the pass, but rather to get in the face of Swearinger. And what did Manning have to say to his antagonist?
Texans D.J. Swearinger said #Broncos Manning offered a brief message. “***** you.”
— david ramsey (@davidlukeramsey) August 24, 2014
The amount of the fine, of course, is chump change to Manning, who will make a base salary of $15,000,000 this season. Not that he had a single thing to prove to his Denver teammates, but they must have appreciated the way Manning showed he had Welker’s back.
Peyton Manning notified by NFL he is fined $8,200 for taunting of DJ Swearinger. No appeal. Peyton: “I accept it. Money well spent.”
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 28, 2014
Besides, as Manning pointed out, he drew the 15-yard penalty with just five seconds left in the half. “I think if you’re going to get one, that’s a good time to get one,” Manning said after the game.
Actually, that sounds like the same calculating, pragmatic guy we’ve seen dissect the NFL since 1998. Darn, just when it seemed like he was developing an exciting, new mean streak.