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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Richard Sherman defends ripping Baker Mayfield after conflicting handshake videos

Baker Mayfield

Richard Sherman criticized Baker Mayfield for not shaking hands with some San Francisco 49ers players prior to kickoff of Monday night’s game, and footage appears to show that the Cleveland Browns quarterback did quickly run off the field following the coin toss. However, he did not completely snub his opponent.

Several angles of the pregame coin toss between the Browns and 49ers have surfaced, and one of them shows Mayfield shaking hands — even if reluctantly — with Sherman. The exchange came before the coin toss, but there was clearly some form of a handshake.

Here’s another angle:

Apparently, Sherman must be upset that Mayfield did not shake hands with Niners players both before and after the coin toss. A separate video from after the toss showed Mayfield quickly turn to run off the field with at least one teammate, while other Browns players stayed behind and exchanged handshakes a second time.

It seems to be customary for players to exchange pleasantries both before and after the toss, so Sherman may be right that Mayfield broke an unwritten rule. However, the All-Pro cornerback made it seem as though Mayfield completely ignored him, which wasn’t the case. Sherman even shared a deceiving screenshot on Twitter and insisted Mayfield never shook his hand. The screenshot appeared to be from before the toss, and the video above clearly shows that Sherman and Mayfield briefly slapped hands.

The 49ers clearly they drew some motivation from the way Mayfield carried himself before the game, and good for them. Sherman intercepted one of Mayfield’s passes within the first few minutes of the game, and the way Nick Bosa mocked the former Oklahoma star sent a strong message.

That said, it’s fair to say Sherman exaggerated a bit. He was trying to paint Mayfield’s antics as completely classless and make it seem like Mayfield refused to shake his hand. While Mayfield quickly jogged off the field after the toss, he didn’t ignore Sherman and the 49ers entirely.

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