The Cleveland Browns, who selected Johnny Manziel with the 22nd pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, have released the former Texas A&M quarterback. Hopefully, the wheels have not started turning in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' head.
Jones coveted Manziel in 2014. His son Stephen Jones reportedly talked Jones out of making Manziel a Cowboy, and the team instead drafted guard Zack Martin, who made the Pro Bowl his rookie season and is already an anchor for the offense. The best Manziel offered were fleeting visions of the leaf-in-the-wind elusiveness that made him so dangerous for the Aggies. More often, he was getting beat up behind the Browns' woebegone offensive line and making terrible decisions during his few appearances on the field —Manziel started only eight games over his two years in Cleveland. Friday, as the news of Manziel's release broke, Twitter began to salivate.
The Cowboys even flirting with Manziel would be a terrible, terrible idea. Manziel is instability personified and not nearly good enough between the lines to make up for it.
Off the field, Manziel, who spends a lot of time in Dallas, was a train wreck. Seemingly every week, a new video of Manziel doing something dumb would go viral. One showed him riding an inflated swan in Austin, another showed him rolling a $20 bill in a bathroom. Our favorite showed a clearly intoxicated Manziel holding a giant wad of money.
“I can’t hear you. There’s too much money in my fucking hand,” Manziel said.
In January 2015, Manziel sought treatment at a rehab center in Pennsylvania for unspecified reasons. He left rehab in April and for awhile, he seemed to be back on track. In September, he played his best game as a pro, tossing 50- and 60-yard touchdown passes in the Browns' 28-14 win over the Titans. Soon after, though, Manziel was in trouble again.
In October, in an incident that presaged much bigger problems, Manziel was spotted driving recklessly on a highway before exiting and getting in a fight in his car with his girlfriend Colleen Crowley. Police who showed up at the scene didn't arrest Manziel because Crowley refused to cooperate.
January saw a more serious incident between Manziel and Crowley. During a fight that stretched between Dallas and Fort Worth, Manziel, according to Crowley, hit her hard enough in the head to rupture an eardrum. He threatened both to kill her and commit suicide. Crowley requested and won a protective order, and Manziel can't be anywhere near Crowley until 2018. A Dallas County grand jury is currently weighing whether to indict Manziel for assault.
Manziel will remain on waivers over the weekend. If unclaimed, he'll become a free agent Monday.