The dysfunctional relationship between Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns will be coming to an end in the next month or so, which means the disappointing quarterback, a first round pick two years ago out of Texas A&M, is going to have his work cut out for him trying to convince NFL teams that all the problems he had are a thing of the past.
The Browns really tried being patient with Manziel. They stuck by him through his rehab and for a short while, it did look like he was taking football seriously, and cleaning up his act. But this season, filled with losses and not too inspiring play from Manziel, was filled with incidents: Partying, the allegation of hitting his girlfriend and missing a team meeting. Manziel didn’t always look bad on the football field, but his promise that he and the Browns were going to wreck the league didn’t come through.
In 15 games, 8 of them starts for the Browns, Manziel completed 57% of his passes for 7 touchdowns (all in the second season) and 7 interceptions, posting a 74.4 passer rating. He also showed some of his running skills in 2015 with 230 rushing yards, 6.2 per carry. But whether it was misuse by the Browns on a small, very mobile quarterback, or simply someone who doesn’t have the personality, mentality and skill set to translate his college success around pro athletes, Manziel in Cleveland was a failure.
The organization will wait until March to cut him loose, with head coach Hue Jackson looking like he can’t wait to move on. It is interesting to see if there a quarterback who can actually succeed in an environment that is in constant change, with offenses shifting and sideline personnel lasting a season or two at most. Maybe Manziel needs some time away from the game to understand whether it’s for him or not. While never showing too much, he’s probably going to get a backup job somewhere with some team, although he might not be capable of holding on to it.