Johnny Manziel trade rumors are nothing new for Cleveland Browns fans. These Manziel rumors have inundated Browns supporters since he was an underperforming rookie out of Texas A&M. Now, a report from ESPN.com states that the interest level in Manziel around the NFL could be even lower than originally projected. This could mean that any trade package for Manziel might include nothing more than a late-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The St. Louis Rams are considered by ESPN to be the only team with marginal interest in acquiring Manziel. Statistically, the Rams had the worst quarterbacks in the NFL during the 2015 season, showing that positional improvement is a requirement of the 2016 offseason. Currently, Case Keenum is still projected to be the starter for the 2016 NFL season, with Sam Mannion possibly seen as a backup. Nick Foles is also under contract for the 2016 season, but he has a $6 million roster bonus the team could avoid by simply cutting him.
There had been Johnny Manziel trade rumors that included the Dallas Cowboys, with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even commenting about having interest in Manziel that dated back to the 2014 NFL Draft. With Robert Griffin III potentially available to the Cowboys and Tony Romo still under contract, though, the Cowboys may decide that the off-field drama simply isn’t worth it. Depending on how the Griffin situation turns out, and if the Washington Redskins ask for too much in return, the Cowboys could turn up in the rumors again.
Manziel doesn’t have a lot of money left on his contract, with the Cleveland Browns owing him about $1.2 million for the 2016 NFL season and another $1.3 million for the 2017 NFL season. The Browns also hold a player option for a fifth season, and his contract has a roster bonus of $250,000 built in for 2017. This means that the team would have very little financial obligation should it decide to simply cut Manziel during the offseason. It seems pretty clear that the team won’t get back the value it put into Manziel by selecting him in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
After finishing the 2016 NFL season tied for the worst record in football, the Cleveland Browns will have the second overall selection in the draft. The team is likely to look for an improvement on defense with that pick, with Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa a possible candidate. The Browns need a quarterback, receivers, and help on the defensive line from the 2016 NFL Draft, so targeting Bosa could make a lot of sense for the front office. Finding a quarterback could come in the later rounds.
The Johnny Manziel trade rumors now indicate that the Browns have lost value in the Texas A&M product by not dealing him before the Week 17 issues. The market has thinned out quite a bit, further suggesting that the Browns may be able to get nothing more than a seventh-round pick for Manziel. With Hue Jackson now the head coach of the team, the franchise could be keen to quickly move in a new direction, meaning simply cutting Manziel is definitely on the table.
In two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Manziel appeared in 15 games (eight starts). He has completed 147-of-258 passes (57.8 percent) and thrown for 1,675 yards. Manziel has seven touchdowns, five interceptions, and seven fumbles to his credit, as well. It works out to a quarterback rating of 74.4 in those 15 games, and a combined record of 2-6 as a starter. The only bright side to the Johnny Manziel trade rumors is that he is just 24-years-old and could have a lot of football in front of him with a new team. As for what team wants him, that is entirely unclear.
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