In the past I have defended Johnny Manziel. That ends here. He lost my support. He has proven to me that he does not belong in this league.
Rumors surfaced yesterday that the Browns coaching staff and management was done with Johnny Manziel. Who can blame them? He might have generated a lot of excitement and fan fair when he drafted, but Manziel has been nothing but a pain in the ass since he walked through the door two years ago. He has shown himself to be unreliable, immature and uncommitted.
It pains me to say these things about Manziel. He is one of my favorite players to watch. He is riveting on the field. He has the potential to be electric. He makes you gasp and groan and everything in between. Unfortunately, off the field, he often makes you shake your head and now Manziel is in hot water for his latest antics.
The 23-year old was inactive this week due to a concussion, so Manziel decided he didn’t want to be with the team. He was reportedly spotted in Las Vegas last night, before the Browns season finale with the Steelers. He was supposed to show up for a scheduled meeting with team doctors on Sunday morning, but failed to appear. This was the final straw for Cleveland, who has been trying to police this kid from day one. Between DUIs and rehab stints, Manziel has been a tabloid writer’s dream.
Rumor has it that Manziel is interested in leaving the Browns in order to join the Cowboys during the offseason. Remember, Dallas showed a lot of interest in Manziel during the 2014 draft and came close to selecting him in the middle of the first round. With his track record though, you have to start wondering if Manziel wants to play for the Cowboys, or hit the Dallas party scene with a couple of the team’s cheerleaders.
It is hard to name a player who has been more irresponsible during his first two seasons in the NFL. Sure, every player has their own adjustment period when they join the league but Manziel doesn’t show any signs of settling down. He just keeps doing whatever he pleases, making it clear just how selfish he is as a teammate.
The Browns are already an embarrassment of a franchise. Since 1999, Cleveland have just two winning seasons and played in just one playoff game. The Browns also managed to churn through 26 starting quarterbacks during that time span. This team is already down and out, they certainly don’t need things like videos of their starting quarterback drunk at a house party cropping up online. No franchise needs that.
Manziel has burned his only bridge in Cleveland. I can’t imagine that many teams will touch the former Texas A&M Heisman winner with a 10-foot pole. He brings with him a media hailstorm, a questionable work ethic, a tendency to get into trouble and a lack of production.
It is easy to pretend that Manziel’s problems are solely off the field. He struggles a lot on the field as well. He has posted a 57 percent completion rate in his two seasons, while turning the ball over 14 times. He averages a lackluster 6.5 yards per attempt and lacks the mechanics of a pro quarterback. If you watch him play, it is rare that Manziel looks to more than his first option before he starts to scramble.
On all sides, Manziel is a mess. He is a middling quarterback with an attitude problem and an inability to stay out of trouble. Even if he says that he just did not like Cleveland and he would be willing to do all the right things for a different team, what does that say about his demeanor and character? That is not the type of guy that I would want in my locker room.
However, Jerry Jones showed earlier this year that he was not afraid of a potential locker room cancer. He signed Greg Hardy, who immediately flared up and started fights with coaches and teammates. Jones responded by saying he wanted to resign Hardy. Jones was also apparently at the forefront of the bring Manziel to Dallas campaign back in 2014. Something tells me that he is salivating at the thought of bring him in from Cleveland. He will surely cite Dallas’ shakiness at the quarterback position behind Tony Romo as a justification for bringing Manziel on, if he does choose to sign him.
I think Dallas is the only team that might give Manziel a shot, otherwise, we could see Manziel take the route of another polarizing former Heisman trophy winning first round selection in Tim Tebow. Could you imagine those two working together on the SEC Network? Oh what I would give to listen to those off-camera conversations.
Back to the point, Manziel has made it very difficult for any general manager to consider signing him. There are simply too many red flags surrounding him. More and more frequently, teams are staying away from players with any character issues.
Maybe Manziel would straighten himself out with another team. Maybe he would benefit from learning for a year behind a veteran quarterback. Maybe he would play better with a better supporting cast. All of this is plausible but I don’t know if we will ever find out. If Dallas will not sign him, I think we have seen the last of Johnny Manziel.