The most ridiculous storyline coming out of the San Francisco 49ers 31-3 win over the Cleveland Browns is the “Handshake-gate” scandal between Richard Sherman and Baker Mayfield that rapidly escalated into a national topic of discussion.
While speaking to reporters after the win, Sherman said Mayfield snubbed him at the coin toss, ripping into the second-year quarterback’s “bush league” tactics.
“What’s amazing, and annoying, was him not shaking hands at the beginning,” Sherman told reporters. “That’s some college s—. It’s ridiculous. We’re all trying to get psyched up, but shaking hands with your opponent — that’s NFL etiquette. And when you pull bush league stuff, that’s disrespectful to the game. And believe me, that’s gonna get us fired up.”
But as new video show, there was in fact a handshake between Sherman and Mayfield. Here it is below.
After the video came out, Sherman yet again responded, sparking the drama once again.
“So you don’t see any difference in the way I shake everyone else’s hand and the guy who stands back with the petty shake,” Sherman wrote. “Was Bs and I took offense to it then turns and runs off. It’s not that big of a deal.”
The reason people are so interested in the handshake scandal is because of how ferociously Sherman attacked Mayfield after the game.
“Respect the game,” Sherman told reporters. “You can have rivals, but pay your respect in that moment — especially when you’re young … He hasn’t earned anything in this league. How many games has he won? He’s acting like he was the MVP last year. If (Patrick) Mahomes did that, it would be one thing. But he would never do that, because he has too much respect for the game.
“And when you see a guy who doesn’t? You humble him every chance you get. Because eventually, he will have respect for the league — or he’ll be out of it.”
Mayfield has yet to respond to Sherman’s criticism.
Richard Sherman Drama Adds to Baker Mayfield’s Terrible Night
As for the game on the field, Mayfield had a miserable time. The second-year QB was under constant pressure and managed just 100 yards on 8 of 22 passing with 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles. Sherman nabbed one of those picks.
During a conference call on Monday, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens spoke on his quarterback’s poor performance.
“Some of it had to do with lack of protection, some of it had to do with bad throws. A couple bad decisions, had some drops,” Kitchens said. “You can’t do those things and play the QB position at an elite level. Have to have constancy around you and be consistent yourself”
For what it’s worth, Mayfield and the Browns are not worried yet despite a 2-3 record.
“Once again, we’re not hitting the panic button,” Mayfield said in his post-game presser. “For us, we know the problem. We know we have to be better and do better. When you play a great team, you have to eliminate mistakes. ”
The Browns have not been above .500 since December of 2014.
Browns Will go Back to Antonio Callaway After Game-Swaying Bobble
The Browns received a couple of haymakers out of the gate from the 49ers, but seemed to get things under control when they drove to the San Francisco goal line down 14-3 in the second quarter.
It looked like the Browns would narrow the gap with a touchdown, but instead, Antonio Callaway slid to the turf and bobbled a ball that popped right into the hands of K’waun Williams. Mayfield’s other interception was also on a throw to Callaway.
It was Callaway’s first game this season since returning from a four-game suspension. When asked if he’ll go back to Callaway next week, Kitchens left no questions.
“I definitely will,” he said.
The Browns face the Seahawks next week before hitting the road to take on the Patriots.