Bengals’ Vernon Hargreaves Fined $5.5K for Coming Off Sideline During Super Bowl 56

AP Photo/Emilee Chinn

The NFL fined Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III $5,555 for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the Bengals’ 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI last weekend, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Hargreaves, who was inactive for the game, went onto the field in street clothes and celebrated when Bengals safety Jessie Bates III intercepted Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford in the end zone with two minutes remaining in the first half.

The half-the-distance-to-the-goal penalty backed Cincinnati up to its own 10-yard line. The Bengals and Rams exchanged punts to end the half, and L.A. entered the locker room with a 13-10 lead.

Cincinnati scored 10 unanswered points in the second half to take the lead, but the Rams cut the deficit to 20-16, and then Stafford hit Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp for a one-yard touchdown with 1:25 remaining.

The Rams defense stood tall, forcing quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals to turn the ball over on downs, thus cementing L.A.’s 23-20 victory.

Hargreaves’ penalty didn’t directly lead to any points being scored in the game, although it potentially could have prevented the Bengals from putting together a scoring drive late in the first half.

The 26-year-old Hargreaves is something of a journeyman, having played for three different teams during his six-year NFL career.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers originally selected him 11th overall in the 2016 NFL draft, but after struggling to establish himself as a consistent starter, he was waived and the Houston Texans claimed him in 2019.

Hargreaves appeared in eight games for the Texans last season before getting waived and claimed by the Bengals.

In four regular-season games for the Bengals, he had five tackles with no interceptions or passes defended. He was then active for only one of the Bengals’ four playoff games.

Hargreaves will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

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