Johnny Manziel rumors reveal the Cleveland Browns are ready to release him. Rumors state the Browns will release Manziel in March, possibly in preparation for the 2016 NFL Draft. A breaking report from ESPN on Tuesday, February 2, confirms that the Browns are ready to cut ties with Manziel. This is huge news for fans of the Browns, and is about to close the final chapter of a very tumultuous time for Manziel in Cleveland.
The Browns still have Manziel under contract for two more seasons, so this shows the desperation of the Cleveland front office to part ways with the troubled quarterback. His contract is fully guaranteed, as well, so the Browns could be on the hook for that salary if a new team doesn’t sign Manziel. There have been a number of other Johnny Manziel rumors since the NFL regular season ended, though, suggesting there are several franchises willing to give him another shot.
There has been a lot of negative press about Johnny Manziel and what he has been doing off-the-field over his first two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. None of it has shown the front office in Cleveland that Manziel is the quarterback of the future for the franchise, and the team is about to officially pull the plug. The Browns want to get rid of Manziel so badly that a team press release even gives a date when the franchise will look to release Manziel. It’s an indictment on his viability in the league, and it could damage his NFL career.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.”
NFL rules dictate that the Cleveland Browns cannot just cut Johnny Manziel right now, as the team doesn’t have the salary cap space to make the move. The new NFL year begins on March 9, though, giving a clear date when the Browns can decide to release Manziel. His contract would count as $4.6 million against the cap if he were to be released in February, giving the Browns every incentive to hold on to him a while longer. When the salary cap increases during the month of March, the Browns will have more freedom to cut him.
There are going to be numerous Johnny Manziel rumors as the release date draws closer, especially if there are other teams like the Dallas Cowboys still looking for a quarterback at that point. Manziel has a dead cap space number of $4.6 million for the 2016 NFL season, and just under $2.4 million for the 2017 NFL season. If he does sign a new contract with another franchise, the Browns could be off the hook for a portion of his guaranteed salary. Another team could simply offer him a minimum wage deal, though, keeping him on the books for the Browns.
There has been no public comment from Manziel or his agent about the statement by the Cleveland Browns, but it is likely to come very soon. The 23-year-old quarterback and first-round pick of the 2014 NFL Draft may have placed himself in a position where he is considered damaged goods, though. With an option like Robert Griffin III expected to hit the NFL free agent market as well, future Johnny Manziel rumors could include a lack of suitors to sign or trust him to join a new franchise.
[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]