Johnny Manziel rumors have taken an interesting turn with the Cleveland Browns. These Manziel rumors may simply be posturing by the Browns to increase his value during the NFL offseason, but it also raises questions about the team possibly keeping him on the roster. A report from ESPN.com on Thursday, January 21, states that the team is going to take its time making a decision on the troubled quarterback. That route may mean that Manziel remains with the Browns for a bit longer.
The Browns just hired Hue Jackson as the new head coach of the franchise, naming a successor to Mike Pettine almost as soon as the team could do it. It puts the team in a new direction and allows the head coach to get a head start on the 2016 NFL season. Jackson has spoken to the media several times about Manziel and his future with the franchise, but he has yet to speak in specifics about what the team might do. With a high selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, it has been expected that the Browns would select a quarterback and close the door on Manziel.
Numerous Johnny Manziel rumors have peppered NFL news since the playoffs began. It started with stories about Manziel missing the last game of the regular season to spend time in Las Vegas and graduated into stories about Dallas Cowboys fans starting up a petition to bring him home to Texas. The bottom line, though, is that the Cleveland Browns control him for at least two more years under the rookie contract he signed with the team. It means that the front office in Cleveland doesn't have to send him to a new team.
The Browns owe Manziel just $1.2 million for the 2016 NFL season and just under $1.3 million for the 2017 NFL season. It means the team could keep him on the active roster for quite a while and not suffer financially from the obligation. Even releasing Manziel doesn't take away the cap hit, as Manziel's signing bonus will count against the franchise through 2016. The contract was guaranteed as well, so Manziel would get paid by the Browns even if the team did decide to cut him. This could be why the front office is taking its time on making this next decision.
These Johnny Manziel rumors aren't the only thing that the team has to worry about either, as Josh Gordon is ready to return from his drug suspension. Gordon had been ranked among the most productive receivers in the game when he was active with the Browns, but the team has to decide whether or not to offer him a big contract when he gets cleared by the NFL. The Browns' vice president of football operations (Sashi Brown) commented on the situation during an interview on January 21.
"We don't know where Johnny was. I don't know where Johnny was the final game of the season. I know a lot's been written about him. What we expect is Johnny to have a good offseason and be ready to go. We're not in any panic to make any decision one way or another on him. He understands what's ahead of him and what he needs to do to have a career in this league and with the Browns."
There are certainly going to be other franchises willing to give the former Texas A&M quarterback a shot, so the Cleveland Browns are waiting to see if some of the value it placed on him during the 2014 NFL Draft can be salvaged. Until the Browns actually sit down with the quarterback, there are going to be even more Johnny Manziel rumors about where he might play for the 2016 NFL season.
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