Who’d have thought just 2 years ago that this would be the end result for Johnny Manziel. One of the most exciting players in college football history, he was seen as the revitalisation of the Cleveland Browns and their long history of ineptitude. Jim Brown aside the Browns have been the poster boy for all that is terrible in professional sports, making Cleveland the most title baron city in America. For a franchise to have only 2 seasons in the 21st century without a losing record and all but 4 of those seasons spent at the bottom of their division… you make up your own mind.
But on May 8, 2014 their hopes and dreams seemed to be looking brighter with the drafting of the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Having thrown for 63 TD’s and only 22 INT’s over his 2 seasons at Texas A&M he appeared on the outside as someone who the Browns could build around and look to the playoffs in the near future. Little did they know that the next 2 NFL season would be a roller coaster ride seemingly never to end…
Even before his first college game the writing seemingly appeared on the wall as to what was to come with charges of disorderly conduct and possession of a fake drives licence among the list filed against Manziel. Some might say that he was only in the wrong place at the wrong time and simply standing up for a friend, but others will say that it was a subject of the company he kept and unless he made a drastic change these kind of incidents were only going to continue.
Sure enough, they did. And Cleveland (on outward appearances) kept enabling his behaviour. Imagine if this was happening to a player under the watch of Bill Belichick or Ron Rivera… god help that player!
Now, this might seem to be an editorial on how much Johnny Manziel is a spoilt little brat who needs a good clip around the ears and pulled into line… and to some degree you are correct. But it’s time that teams and the league administration got together to come up with some kind of policy that will help players that are clearly struggling with something in their personal lives that is negatively impacting their profession. If there was a doctor, lawyer or council worker who was going through some kind of personal issue, you don’t think there would be people there to support them? In this case (and many like it any professional sport) there seems to be a culture of “well, we tried but let’s cut them and make him/her someone else’s problem”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Browns provided Manziel with many forms of help during his time in Cleveland, but the public perception is that he’s more trouble than he’s worth and that another team can roll the dice. Will that be Dallas, where Texas revere him and hold him up higher than superbly cooked BBQ ribs? We know it won’t be in Houston where the Texans have just signed Brock Osweiler to a 4 year/$72 million contract (by the way… WOW!!!!!)… so where do Manziel end up on the NFL quarterback merry-go-round?
Only time will tell, but for Johnny Football’s sake, it’s somewhere that will fit his mind and his personality. Not always is it about where you can get the most money or which team can win a Superbowl right now, sometimes you just need to be content with where you fit. Fingers crossed the show fits this time.