Money for nothing: Fake $1 bribe costs Ochocinco $20,000

NFL Notes

November 14, 2009|By From Sun news services

Chad Ochocinco's pretend $1 bribe is going to cost him a lot more. The Cincinnati Bengals receiver was fined $20,000 and reprimanded by the NFL for taking a dollar bill onto the field during an officials' review of one of his catches Sunday. Ochocinco held the dollar in his right hand at his side but didn't give it to the official, who motioned for him to stay away.

Ochocinco said he was just having fun, but the league didn't like it.

Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, sent Ochocinco a letter that said: "The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player."

The letter cited league rules that prohibit abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures toward officials. The letter also noted that players are prohibited from taking items onto the field that are not part of their uniform. The league has cracked down on players using props for celebrations.

During the third quarter of Cincinnati's 17-7 win over the Ravens, officials initially ruled that Ochocinco got both feet down at the sideline for a 15-yard catch. The Ravens challenged, and the call was overturned when replays showed the receiver's toe landed on the sideline.

While the play was under review, Ochocinco walked toward the officials with the dollar bill.

BROWNS: Coach Eric Mangini defended the length and intensity of his practices one day after running back Jamal Lewis had complained that Cleveland's players are being worked too hard.

"I feel good about the way we practice, the time we practice," said Mangini, 1-7 in his first season with Cleveland. "Two hours of work on the field is a very reasonable time. The only time that practices are extended is if we don't execute something the right way."

Mangini said that he and Lewis, a team captain, had a "good conversation" Thursday and discussed their differences. Mangini did not provide any details of their meeting and said he does not view Lewis' comments as detrimental conduct.

REDSKINS: Running back Ladell Betts is questionable for the game against Denver in which he had been slated to start for Clinton Portis, who is out with a concussion.

Coach Jim Zorn said he thinks Betts will play despite a sprained ankle, but the coach also is prepared to go with a combination of Betts, Rock Cartwright and Quinton Ganther.

Stephon Heyer (Maryland), who was moved this week from left tackle to right tackle, is questionable with a sprained knee.

EAGLES: Running back Brian Westbrook will play Sunday against the Chargers after missing two games because of a concussion.

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