Somebody had to pay the price for the nasty exchanges Sunday between the Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers in the season finale at Heinz Field.
Turns out, it's Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
The NFL fined Taylor $7,875 for blindsiding Steelers right tackle Kelvin Beachum with a forearm smash away from a running play early in the third quarter of the Browns' 24-10 loss.
Beachum suffered a concussion as a result of the hit and did not return. After the game, Taylor insisted he wouldn’t be fazed if he received discipline from the league.
“I don’t care,” Taylor said. “If I get a call [from the league], I get a call. I got it.
“It’s between the whistles. You’ve got to keep your head on a swivel.”
On Sunday night, Taylor retweeted several messages directed at him from outraged Steelers fans.
Taylor’s strike on Beachum was a reaction to Steelers right guard Doug Legursky diving into the legs of Browns linebacker Craig Robertson late in the second quarter after running back Isaac Redman had been tackled. Robertson got up and started swinging at Legursky.
Legursky was not fine. After the game, Legursky admitted his hit led to a series of shots the two teams took at each other in the second half.
“I got underneath [Robertson’s] skin,” Legursky said. “I was finishing a play. He didn’t like the way I did it. It all stemmed from there.
“It was a pretty grimy game. They were taking shots. Everybody was.”
Steelers linebacker James Harrison was not fined for roughing the passer in the third quarter. He hit Browns third-string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis late after he threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Little.
And Browns defensive tackles Billy Winn and Ahtyba Rubin were not fined for their personal-foul penalties in the third quarter. They were involved in a scuffle with several Steelers players following a point-after attempt. Legursky emerged from the skirmish without a helmet.