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NFL fines Browns star Myles Garrett $25,000 for comments about officials after game, source says

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett was fined $25,000 by the NFL for “public criticism of officiating” after he made pointed remarks following last week’s game against Jacksonville, a person familiar with the punishment told The Associated Press.

Garrett was informed of the fine Saturday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not made this week’s player fines public.

Angered by the Jags not being penalized for holding him, Garrett called the officiating a travesty following Cleveland’s 31-27 win and said it’s time for the officials to be held to a higher standard.

“Someone has to hold them accountable for the plays or the calls they don’t make,” he said. “And they need to be under the same kind of microscope as we are every single play.”

Garrett’s frustration had been building at what he feels is a lack of penalties being called against offensive linemen while blocking him. He’s been stuck on 13 sacks for three weeks and believes the officials haven’t been treating him fairly.

“It had been something that had been stoked for the last couple weeks, and then other rushers have been also dealing with the same thing,” Garrett said following practice Friday. “I can only speak for myself, but once you’ve got a whole position kind of fed up of how they’re being treated, then you know something’s kind of off.”

Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt, another of the league’s elite pass rushers, recently made similar comments to Garrett’s.

On Friday, Garrett said he didn’t regret his outburst.

“Absolutely not,” he said, adding he doesn’t fear any backlash.

“Right now I’m not getting any calls, so it can’t get much worse than that,” the four-time Pro Bowler said. “But I hope it has a positive effect. I’m not trying to offend anybody. I just want them to do their job to the best of their ability.”

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski had no issues with the dominant Garrett speaking his mind.

“We’re not the thought police,” he said. “Our guys can voice their opinions. “I remind the officials of it every game. Just so they’re aware that teams are going to be doing everything in their power to slow down (No.) 95. That’s what they’re talking about in their building.

“So when he’s being clearly restricted, we expect it to be called.”

The Browns (8-5), who are trying make the playoffs for just the second time since 2002, host the Chicago Bears (5-8) on Sunday. The last time the teams played in 2021, Garrett recorded a career-high 4 1/2 sacks and the Browns sacked quarterback Justin Fields nine times in a 26-6 win.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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