Johnny Manziel ‘In A Better Place’ Thanks To Rehab, But Will He Keep His Job?

Is Johnny Manziel just a few months away from exiting the Cleveland Browns?

Johnny Manziel isn’t exactly where he and many others anticipated he would be by now, a year after arriving in the NFL on a wave of collegiate hype. Manziel may have been shorter than the average NFL quarterback, but “Johnny Football” also had a lot of potential. Unfortunately for Johnny, NFL games are not won with potential; a college player has to know the game inside out and be ready to prove themselves at a moment’s notice.

When that opportunity came (and went), the hype machine died. All that was left was Johnny Manziel and his tattered football reputation. It didn’t help matters when individuals allegedly attached to the Cleveland Browns let it be known that things were worse behind the scenes than anybody knew.

Manziel was outed for being a party animal who couldn’t learn or memorize plays. Someone unofficially referred to him as a “100 percent joke”. If there was a joke to be had, it was apparently on the Browns. Word emerged that Johnny Manziel’s lack of professionalism was known far and wide prior to Draft Day 2014. And so when Johnny Manziel imploded late in the season, there was no room for anyone at the Cleveland Browns to be surprised.

After Johnny Manziel made the move to head to rehab, the early word was that the Browns were firmly behind their young quarterback. Owner Jimmy Haslam declared in February that it was “too early to give up on Johnny.” He added that it would be “harsh” of the franchise to dump Manziel after “one tough season.”

“I applaud him for raising his hand and saying ‘I need help.’ We’re going to do everything we can to support him. Our primary interest is making sure that he gets well, if you will. [And see that he] fixes himself.”

Coach Mike Pettine checked in on Johnny Manziel during the same window of time, letting the press know that the quarterback was “in a better place” after checking himself into rehab. Of course, how the 22-year-old is better is a matter of speculation. While he may be in a better place mentally and emotionally, there are some who feel like job-wise he may still be in danger. Yes, even after assurances from top members of the Cleveland Browns franchise.

The problem for Johnny Manziel is that in a world where one fails to live up to their hype, there’s always someone else for the public to turn their attention to. Now that football fans are no longer too concerned with “Johnny Football”, many are eagerly waiting to see how Marcus Mariota will fare.

Although there is talk that he will head to the Philadelphia Eagles, there are also rumors that Cleveland will try their luck with a new rookie quarterback. Based on the image that Marcus presents, one can easily label him the “Anti-Johnny Football”. With Cleveland still trying to put out the fires of an embarrassing finish last season, they may want a fresh quarterback with a lot of hype, and one who doesn’t seem likely to cause a lot of trouble.

The Browns can potentially influence Marcus to join them thanks to a rather bizarre loophole. Teams are forbidden from interacting with prospects until the NFL Scouting Combine kicks off. However, the team is preparing to hire Kevin O’Connell as a quarterbacks coach. Who is working with O’Connell exclusively? Marcius Mariota. Other teams may call foul, but this happy coincidence doesn’t necessarily mean that the Cleveland Browns are looking to pounce.

Despite all the speculation about Johnny Manziel’s future, there doesn’t seem to be any definite proof as of yet that his job is in danger or that his NFL career will soon be over.

Do you think Johnny Manziel will be let go by the Cleveland Browns? Will they and should they go for Marcus Mariota?

[Image Credit: Elsa/Getty Images]