(USA TODAY) - Johnny Manziel clearly wasn't too amused with the players on the Washington bench Monday night.
After throwing an incomplete pass near the Washington sideline late in the third quarter, Manziel raised a middle finger as he jogged back to the Cleveland huddle. The gesture was clearly captured by ESPN's cameras.
Manziel threw his first NFL touchdown pass later on the drive, but expect Manziel's middle finger to generate as much buzz as that fourth-quarter pass.
Browns coach Mike Pettine, for one, wasn't pleased with the move.
"It does not sit well," Pettine said. "I was informed right after the game. And it's disappointing to me because we talk about being poised, being focused. You have to be able to maintain your poise. … That's a big part of all football players, especially your quarterback."
Browns cornerback Joe Haden defended Manziel, saying the former Texas A&M star has taken a lot of abuse from opposing players and fans during Cleveland's pair of preseason road games.
Manziel's bird to the Washington bench is expected to draw an $11,025 fine, the total the league has assessed for such gestures in the past.
"Many words were exchanged with me throughout the entirety of the game, week after week," Manziel said. "I should have been smarter. It's a Monday Night Football game, and the cameras were probably on me. So I just need to be smart about that.
"There's always words exchanged on the football field."
Manziel created headlines all offseason with his off-field antics, but aside from an internal fine for being late to a meeting this month, Manziel has been mostly drama-free throughout the preseason.
This was a critical night for Manziel in his quest to win the Browns' starting quarterback job. One middle finger might not hurt that bid, but it won't help keep the conversation surrounding Manziel about football.?