Ever since Johnny Manziel entered the NFL two years ago, there have been rumors that the Dallas Cowboys were going to trade for him one day. Now, they won’t even have to worry about trading for him, as it is now known that the Cleveland Browns are going to cut the troubled young quarterback in March. The thing is, will the Cowboys want to even take a chance on Manziel, considering his most recent off-field issues?
ESPN has reported that Manziel’s tumultuous tenure with the Cleveland Browns will officially come an end in March. Sashi Brown, the new Browns’ director of football operations, released a statement on Tuesday.
“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.”
Per league rules, the new NFL year does not begin until March 9, and that is the date that the Browns will officially be able to release Manziel. He would be eligible to be released on February 8, the day after Super Bowl 50, but they don’t have the salary cap space to do so.
Attempting to release him in February will cost the Browns $4.6 million against the salary cap, and the team simply doesn’t have that space right now. When it increases in March, that space will become available to the team.
There have been a lot of problems with Manziel during his two years in Cleveland. His latest alleged assault situation with his girlfriend not only got the attention of the Browns, but also from the NFL.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 2, 2016
With the NFL taking a long look at Johnny Manziel, this may actually be the true deterrent for the Dallas Cowboys to look away from him. Just within the last two weeks, the Christian Post even reported that the Cowboys may still look to trade for Manziel, but that was before this latest off-field incident.
NBC Sports even thinks that the salary cap issue not allowing the Browns to release Manziel for a month may give them the time needed to work out a trade. Dallas is even mentioned in this spot, but they are currently fourth in the waivers positioning. Cleveland is second.
That means when the Browns do cut Manziel, the Dallas Cowboys will have to wait and see what the Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers do first. It doesn’t appear as if either of those teams would have an interest in Manziel, with Marcus Mariota and Philip Rivers as their respective quarterbacks.
During his two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Johnny Manziel has played in 14 games and thrown for 1,675 yards with seven touchdowns. He has also rushed for 259 yards and one score. His time on the field has been limited due to injuries, off-field issues, and not flat-out winning the starting job.
The Dallas Cowboys are dealing with an aging and often-injured Tony Romo, who is having another offseason surgery to prevent further damage to his shoulder. The Cowboys do need to bring in a veteran and experience back-up in case another emergency happens, especially considering none of their options worked out in 2015.
Troy Aikman is of the belief that Manziel or Robert Griffin III would be the back-up in Dallas for the 2016 season. If this latest off-field incident with Manziel ends up being a problem for the NFL after their investigation, he may drop off the radar as an option for any team.
Johnny Manziel’s time with the Cleveland Browns is done, and there is the possibility that he could end up with the Dallas Cowboys or anywhere next season. Due to his attitude and behavior, he may also end up finding himself at the early completion of his NFL career.
[Image by Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images]