Johnny Manziel’s tenure with the Cleveland Browns is likely over. It’s just a matter of waiting for the new league year to start on March 9th before the Browns move on from the embattled QB according to reports.
Manziel was involved in numerous off-field incidents over the past couple of years, but had shown some promise when he played. So, what was the deciding factor for the team to move on from the young QB?
“The final straw I think was the final week of the season, when he was diagnosed with a concussion and then two days later he was spotted in Vegas in a blonde wig and a fake mustache, which once again brought more embarrassment to the team, more negative headlines, and I think really ultimately that was the final straw,” said Cleveland.com Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Then the events of this past weekend when he was in Texas, another incident, another run-in with the police. Now, of course he’s under investigation for possibly assaulting his girlfriend. The Browns are done, they’ve had enough.”
Many speculated that Manziel was acting out mainly to try and get out of Cleveland and find a job with a different franchise. Cabot doesn’t believe that to be the case.
“I’m not buying that. I don’t believe that at all,” said Cabot. “I think he really liked being in Cleveland. I think he liked the city, I think he liked the team, I really don’t think that was it. I think that Johnny’s just kind of off-track right now and that he needs to get himself together if he wants to play this game anymore.”
While Manziel is on the way out, Hue Jackson is on the way in as the new head coach of the franchise. He will be the team’s sixth head coach in the last 10 years. Jackson arrives from the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals where he was the offensive coordinator and prior to that he was a head coach for one season in Oakland. That head coaching experience gives him an edge according to Cabot.
“First of all, he’s got that rookie year under his belt and I think that’s so important with a head coach,” said Cabot. “You’ve got to get all those rookie mistakes out. I’ve seen too many guys come in and make those same mistakes over and over again. Then, he will bring a high-powered offense. You’re definitely talking about taking shots down field. He knows his quarterbacks, he likes a big guy with a gun. So, I really think that they’re going to be really looking at perhaps taking a quarterback with the number two pick: Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. I do believe that good times are ahead offensively for Cleveland.”
One offensive weapon that Jackson would love to have at his disposal is wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is applying for reinstatement to the league after being suspended indefinitely due to multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. The problem is, the Johnny Manziel saga may have soured the Browns on Gordon too.
“I don’t know that Johnny’s doing him any favors right now,” said Cabot. “Because the Browns, they really are getting tired of the negative publicity. Josh has let them down time and time again. But, you know what, there’s a new sheriff in town and Hue Jackson likes big, fast receivers that can catch touchdown passes for you. So, if they feel that he is truly rehabbed, I think there’s a chance that they’ll try to keep him around for awhile.”