A new head coach for the Cleveland Browns is pretty much the norm every two years in the NFL. One of the first changes Hue Jackson is planning on making is moving on from Johnny Manziel, which is surprising to no one.
Jackson, the former offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, discussed Manziel at length with the Browns during his interviews, and said he prefers the organization moves on from the troublesome quarterback, who never showed he’s worth the hassle off the field with his on field performances. Sources from inside those meetings suggest the Browns have no problem with that.
To the press, Jackson was obviously less adamant, but quite neutral: I need to get in this building and have an opportunity to sit down and watch tape. I don’t know Johnny personally. I know who he is, but at the same time I think I have to give everybody on our football team the fair opportunity to see who they are, to truly learn who they are and then make decisions from there. I wasn’t here to be a part of that. So obviously I can’t speak to any of those incidents. I think what’s important is that I evaluate him as a football player and then find out more about those things moving forward.
While Jackson was in Cleveland while Manziel had his off the field issues and stunts, he probably heard enough about them, not to mention plenty in the organization are still sticking around. His most recent incident was missing a concussions assessment leading up to the season finale, which he didn’t play in. Whether he was in Las Vegas that weekend or somewhere else, it seems the team didn’t concern itself with it, probably already making the decision to move on from him.
Manziel started in six games this season for the Browns and played in overall 10. He completed 57.8% of his passes, throwing 7 touchdowns passes and 5 interceptions. While it wasn’t terrible, and maybe even better than what Josh McCown did during his time out on the field, it wasn’t enough to convince the Browns he’s their guy for the next few years, not to mention turn a blind eye to all of his off the field problems.
The question now will be whether Manziel should be traded (hoping that the rumors about Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys being interested are true), or simply release him once the waiver period begins after the Super Bowl. Cutting him will save over $2 million in cap space next season, but also create a carry over in dead money of over $4 million.