It’s looking more and more that the Cleveland Browns are moving on from the Johnny Manziel experiment.
CBS Sports is reporting that the Browns, in search of the next franchise quarterback, are continuing pursuit of Sam Bradford, and possibly interested in going after Oregon product Marcus Mariota in the draft by moving up in a trade and moving on from a checkered quarterback past.
The Browns moving on is a foregone conclusion. Manziel played in five mostly forgettable games last year for Cleveland, starting two and winning none. Last year’s starter, Brian Hoyer, has left the Browns, having signed with the Houston Texans during the off-season. The Browns did sign Josh McCown away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and are ready to start the season with him as their starting quarterback.
Also during the off-season, Manziel entered a rehabilitation program, which was supposed to last one month. Manziel stayed for two months. It’s possible that the Browns are moving on from this kind of news. The Browns were offered the HBO show Hard Knocks, which follows an NFL team during the preseason. The Browns declined because of Manziel’s conduct.
The Browns, however, did try to acquire Sam Bradford from the St. Louis Rams. The Browns offered the Rams a first-round draft pick for Bradford, which the Rams declined. The Rams then traded Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
NBC Sports Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Browns do have a few ways to move on. One is to try to acquire Bradford once again. However, Bradford is coming off an injury season in which his left ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) had torn for a second time. Plus, Bradford will be a free agent after the 2015 season. The Browns may want to move on from this possibility, as well.
A more plausible avenue is pursuing Mariota. The Browns can put together a trade package to move up in the 2015 NFL Draft to select Mariota, whom many experts feel can be a franchise quarterback. The Browns have been in search of a franchise quarterback for a few years now, and many thought Manziel would be that player. But, since it looks like the Browns are moving on from Manziel, they will be looking to rid themselves of Manziel’s services.
There is the final possibility that McCown starts this year, and the Browns try to draft Conner Shaw, former South Carolina quarterback, who the Browns are very high on. As for Manziel, they may be able to trade him to Dallas, if Jerry Jones is still interested, or even the Philadelphia Eagles, if Chip Kelly thinks he needs more quarterbacks.
Suffice it to say, the Browns are moving on from the great Manziel experiment, and are preparing to begin another.
[Image courtesy of Cleveland 24/7 Sports]