Don’t let the door . . .
It’s time for the Browns to grant Johnny Manziel’s unasked wish and get rid of him. Any way they can. Trade him or just flat out cut him. Get him outta here.
When – not if – when it happens, consider it addition by subtraction. He is an embarrassment to his team, fans of the team and the city of Cleveland.
In spite of the words of contrition that tumble out of his lying mouth whenever he gets into trouble, Manziel is not a changed young man. He is still the fun-loving, party-going, booze-swilling young buck who is years from sewing his wild oats.
His latest night-before-the season-finale-Billy Manziel-Las Vegas Casino escapade might very well be the see-ya moment to his controversy-filled tenure with the Browns. The hits just keep on coming with him.
He claims football is his main focus. He wants to become a great professional football player after hogging the spotlight for two years in the collegiate ranks and winning its highest award.
It might happen for him some day. Growing up eventually gives us a different perspective of what is and what is not important in life. Some people, though, never grow up. Manziel might be one of the exceptions.
His behavior off the field is so erratic, it is virtually impossible to monitor unless someone is assigned to watch him 24 hours a day. The Browns, those woeful stepchildren of the National Football League, are the unfortunate victims.
But it’s also their own fault. They knew what they were getting when they selected Manziel in the first round of the 2014 college football draft. The Legend of Johnny Football wasn’t exactly a bulletin.
The Browns knew Manziel loved to have fun and the attention he received as a darling of the TMZ and YouTube crowd. And they no doubt believed they could harness that wild behavior and turn him into a solid pro.
When you are young and popular and enjoy the fame that comes along with athletic brilliance (using the term loosely here), it is easy for Manziel to be seduced by that fame and its non-football rewards. But that is entirely different when those rewards hinder future growth.
If – not necessarily when – if he matures, Manziel some day probably will look back at his two years in Cleveland with a modicum of regret. The regret being how poorly he misplaced his priorities, stunted his growth and cheated the fans..
There now seems little doubt Manziel and the Browns was a marriage that was doomed almost from the beginning when the brash young kid from Texas implored Cleveland to select him in the draft so they could “wreck this league.”
Instead, Manziel appears to have gone on a crusade to instead wreck himself and establish the kind of a reputation reserved for those whose flight through life is nothing more than a joy ride.
At the time of the 2014 draft, it was rumored Dallas Cowboys egomaniac-in-charge Jerry Jones had given serious thought to selecting Manziel early in the opening round but was talked out of it by his football people.
Conspiracy theorists now are floating the story that Jones still covets him as the eventual successor to Tony Romo, whose body has betrayed him the last few years, and has suggested Manziel do everything he can to make it happen.
Manziel’s erratic behavior has ticked off the Browns to the point where he has become so toxic, it isn’t worth the wait to find out if he can (1) reform and (2) be the kind of quarterback they expected.
Going back to Texas just might be the best tonic for Manziel, who would be closer to a family that hopefully cares for his welfare and well being. Then again, wouldn’t it be fun to watch Jones find out what Cleveland found out about Manziel and be unable to handle him, too?
No one knows for certain where it went wrong with the young man. Perhaps it was his incorrect belief that adapting to the more regimented and disciplined professional game was going to be easy. It has been anything but.
Because he made significant strides during the recently concluded season, at least according to his coach (Mike Pettine) at the time, he was given enough rope to hang himself. And that is exactly what he did. He just did it one misbehavior at a time.
Time to move on for the sake of what hopefully will be a new culture for a team badly in need of a radical change.