This guy’s act remains unacceptable. He’s an embarrassment to the Browns. We’ll send him packing just as soon as we can.
Over the last two years, I’ve been loathe to descend into the details of the affluenza-inflicted party boy the Browns drafted instead of the two Pro Bowl quarterbacks on the board at the time. For those seeking psychological closure, here’s a fairly complete synopsis of Manziel’s mockery of a professional career to date.
Bottom line for me is that Haslam owns this mistake, and finally it looks like he’s had enough. Manziel’s immaturity, ill temperament, and alcoholic tendencies were the very opposite of a well-kept secret, and the owner himself reportedly gave the final draft day go-ahead.
And frankly, leaving aside all the off-the-field follies, as a potential NFL quarterback, Manziel was always a riskier proposition than either Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr, both in terms of obvious deficiencies and larger question marks. Trading away a third-round pick to move up four slots for him wasn’t just a reach. It was a reach-around.
The end is near. The only question remaining is whether the Browns will salvage the slightest shred of draft value and, more importantly, save themselves cap space if another team assumes his salary, which is basically guaranteed through 2017. Maybe the best hope is that his latest incident involving law enforcement will eventually provide grounds to nullify his contract.
On a personal level, my nagging fear is that this guy is just one more impetuous moment away from tragedy. Will we one day tune in to learn of a car crash or some such mishap, turning the legend of Johnny Football into some timeless, media-fueled myth?
But for now, it seems that he’s simply turned Johnny Rotten, adding to a list of infamous Browns whose words and/or deeds annoyed and alienated fans to an extreme degree. They include
- Andre Rison — Amid the fan backlash after the 1995 announcement that the original Browns would be moving, he said, “Baltimore, here we come!”
- Gerard Warren — “Big Money” proved to be overpaid, overdrafted, and overhyped by himself.
- Braylon Edwards — The Detroit Diva’s attitude was the wrong essence for Cleveland, and his mental lapses were maddening for a player of his talent.
- Donte’ Stallworth — Mere months after hitting the free agency jackpot in 2008, he gashed Edwards’ foot while goofing around. A much more serious accident ensued.
- Derek Anderson — Had he not rhetorically torched his bridges on his way out of town, it’s conceivable he would be the Browns’ starting quarterback today. Instead, it’s not inconceivable that Cam Newton‘s backup will take the victory formation snap in Sunday’s Super Bowl.