Johnny Manziel likely follows GM Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine out of Cleveland. Perhaps the momentum of Manziel pushing the pair out the door takes him with them. But several disturbing reports make Manziel’s failures away from Cleveland an exclamation point on the Browns’ failures at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Cleveland Browns postgame analyst Tony Grossi aired reports on Sunday night of Manziel showing up “disheveled” and “inebriated” to the team’s facility this week. When he raised the issue with Pettine, the now-former head coach denied that this happened Tuesday.
“He denied that that happened on Tuesday,” Grossi told the Big Lead. “But other people I’ve talked to said that it happened the next day, on Wednesday.”
Manziel missed a scheduled medical examination on Sunday morning. He missed the last game of the season against Pittsburgh because of the concussion protocol. USA Today reports that Manziel spent Saturday night drinking and gambling in Las Vegas. Manziel countered with a photo on social media implying that he spent Saturday night in Avon, Ohio, with his dog.
The disastrous end to the season paralleled Manziel’s disastrous end to last season, when the injured quarterback missed treatment and a team walkthrough for the last game after partying the night before and then drew criticism for appearances in Vegas around the New Year partying.
Manziel showed promise in limited action this season. He threw for seven touchdowns and five interceptions on 1,500 yards passing. He started in two of the three team wins this season, emerging victorious over Tennessee and San Francisco.
But his off-field activities again encroached upon his on-field hopes. Despite a trip to rehab in the offseason, the Heisman Trophy-winner admitted to drinking after police stopped him after a domestic incident with his girlfriend in a moving vehicle in October. Later in the season, a video emerged of him partying with a bottle of champagne in hand.
In Dallas, a magnet for troubled players, owner Jerry Jones reportedly still covets the Texas A&M standout that his son talked him out of drafting two years ago. And, according to Peter King, Manziel wants to play for the Cowboys. With Tony Romo entering next season at 36 and coming off an injury-plagued year, Manziel may look like the future to Jones. He looks like the past, and one best left forgotten alongside Brady Quinn, Seneca Wallace, Brandon Weeden, and others in Cleveland’s quarterback carousel, in Northeast Ohio.