The Los Angeles Rams are rumored to be kicking off their move to Tinseltown with a splash, as reports claim the team is interested in signing the media whirlwind that is Johnny Manziel.
Manziel’s tenure with the Cleveland Browns is all but officially over after two brief but very eventful seasons. The Browns just made it clear that they have no desire to bring back Manziel, who has gotten into trouble off the field a number of times for his out-of-control partying.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field,” read a statement from Sashi Brown, Cleveland’s executive vice president of football operations. “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.”
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There have been rumors connecting the Los Angeles Rams and Johnny Manziel in the past few weeks, and in the wake of Cleveland’s announcement, there was more chatter that the Rams may take a chance on him. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that those close to Manziel claim the Rams have expressed an interest in the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Manziel would be an intriguing fit in Los Angeles, with the polarizing and media-friendly quarterback coming to the epicenter of paparazzi. But if he does come, the Rams would likely put a muzzle on Manziel and try to keep him from partying — however hard that might be in Los Angeles.
There have been other rumors connecting Manziel to the Los Angeles Rams. As the season ended (and before the Rams made their move to Los Angeles official), ESPN polled its beat reporters to see what teams may have any interest in taking a flyer on him. Every writer found no interest (even the Dallas Cowboys, a popular point of speculation for Manziel’s next destination) except for one — the Los Angeles Rams.
Reporter Nick Wagoner noted that the Rams were very high on Manziel before the 2014 draft and even thought about trading back in the draft to land him. Rams coach Jeff Fisher has also spoken highly about Manziel’s potential.
But most importantly, the Los Angeles Rams are a team in need of a quarterback, Wagoner wrote the following.
“By the numbers, the Rams had the worst quarterback production in the NFL in 2015. Their hope that Nick Foles would develop into the franchise quarterback for the long term backfired and he was benched despite signing a short contract extension before ever playing in a game for the team. As of now, Case Keenum projects as the starter, and though he gave them a chance to win in all five of his starts (winning three), he’s limited. Rookie Sean Mannion is still on the roste01r, but there’s no telling when the Rams will view him as ready to compete. The need is there.”
If the rumors regarding the Los Angeles Rams and Johnny Manziel are true, it could be up to Johnny Football to prove himself worthy first. League sources say Manziel’s constant partying and police incidents have given him a difficult reputation, and he may need to prove he can stay out of trouble for a long stretch before he can think about any job.
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