It’s no secret that Johnny Manziel’s off-the-field behavior has eclipsed his on-field production at this point in his NFL career. But is it enough for the Cleveland Browns to release the former first-round pick just two years after drafting him?
Browns Executive Vice President of Operations Sashi Brown issued a general statement on the subject of the team’s former first-round pick on Tuesday, Feb 2.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization,” said Brown via ClevelandBrowns.com. “His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Even though nothing is official, it would seem he’s played his last game for the Browns.
— NFL (@NFL) February 2, 2016
#Browns have more than $20M cap listed, but my understanding is they pushed it forward to ’16. Can’t cut Manziel until the new league year
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 2, 2016
Should the Browns cut ties with Johnny “Football” it would be a sad ending for one of the game’s more talented quarterbacks.
After winning the Heisman Trophy with Texas A&M in 2012, Manziel was widely considered the most talented quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. But perceived questions about his character—along with his relatively-short 6-foot frame—scared a number of teams off and the Browns wound up taking him with the 22nd overall pick.
Yet soon after they drafted him, pictures of him partying it up in Las Vegas, or at Justin Bieber’s house, or in a bathroom rolling up a $20 bill soon went viral and the Browns started realizing why he was available that far down in the draft.
Had his on-field production out-weighed his off-field drama though, the union between Manziel and the Browns might be more solid right now. But it hasn’t.
Manziel cracked the starting lineup just twice his rookie season and the results were more than ugly. The college star completed just 18/35 attempts for 175 yards, 2 interceptions, no touchdowns—good for a paltry quarterback rating of 42.0.
After checking himself into a rehab clinic in the offseason, Manziel appeared improved this past season and eventually was promoted to official starter, just before the bye week. But after reportedly promising to curb his partying ways during the off-week, Browns officials caught wind of another viral video of Manziel partying and he was demoted again.
Now with the NFL investigating his latest domestic incident in Texas on Jan. 30, it seems he may have to find another team to catch on with if he’s going to play in the NFL again.