Zay Flowers’ infamous taunt in the Baltimore Ravens’ AFC Championship loss to the Kansas City Chiefs is now hitting him squarely in the wallet. The rookie wide receiver was hit with a $10,927 unsportsmanlike fine by the league, according to NFL Media.
The infraction contributed to Baltimore’s late meltdown largely spearheaded by Flowers. The Ravens trailed Kansas City, 17-7, with less than a minute to go in the third quarter when Flowers caught what momentarily felt like a game-changing 54-yard reception from Lamar Jackson. That brought the offense to the 10-yard line, but as Flowers got up after being tackled by L’Jarius Sneed, he stood over the Chiefs cornerback flexing and spun the football in what was a textbook taunting penalty. The officials quickly threw a flag and backed Baltimore up 15 yards, booting it from the red zone altogether.
That sparked what proved to be the dagger in Baltimore’s hopes of advancing to the Super Bowl. Just four plays after that penalty, Jackson completed a pass to Flowers, but the receiver fumbled while reaching for the goal line. The ball was recovered by the Chiefs in the end zone for a touchback. In frustration with that course of events, Flowers then cut his finger on the sideline after slamming his helmet on the bench.
While this ending for Flowers proved costly for him (in more ways than one), he put together a strong rookie season. In 16 regular season games, he caught 77 passes for 858 yards and five touchdowns.
Flowers’ teammate, Travis Jones, was fined $6.700 for a hit on Patrick Mahomes that drew a roughing the passer penalty.