Johnny Manziel Heading To Broncos? [Video]

What’s going on with the Denver Broncos? Weeks after the surprising decision to give Mark Sanchez a shot at the starting quarterback position, multiple sports news sources report they recently spoke with free agent Johnny “Football” Manziel.

Quite a few people are puzzled at the behavior of the Broncos, who don’t seem to be acting like a team that has just won a Super Bowl. Perhaps the loss of both iconic quarterback Peyton Manning and promising backup Brock Osweiler has the Broncos scrambling for replacements. Even so, a talk with Johnny Manziel for any length of time given his laundry list of issues strikes some observers as unnecessary to the point of startling.

As previously reported by ESPN, Manziel was waived in early March by the Cleveland Browns, bringing an end to a disappointing two-year professional relationship. While there, Johnny became known more for his off-field drama (heavy drinking, partying, and a domestic violence investigation) than bringing solid on-field performances.

Once the Browns determined they were likely never going to get their money’s worth from Johnny Manziel, the franchise cut him loose. By the end of Johnny’s time in Cleveland, he had become a pariah in professional football, with many teams being advised to stay far, far away from the 23-year-old quarterback.

Now the Broncos find themselves on the receiving end of that advice after a pair of sources with the franchise informed ESPN that Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak had reached out to Johnny Manziel. Why would Kubiak be remotely interested in Manziel? Both are former Texas A&M quarterbacks. Even so, Gary and the Broncos are reportedly waiting to see how “his pending legal issues and potential NFL discipline are resolved” before moving forward.

“Regardless of whether he is charged, the NFL is expected to discipline Manziel, and a suspension is considered likely, according to the sources.

“Should the Broncos sign Manziel — and that could be weeks or months away — Denver, according to the sources, would do so with stipulations that would include mandatory counseling and possible clinical work for Manziel.”

Even if the Denver Broncos might be willing to proceed with caution, others have advised the franchise to avoid involving itself with the troubled young quarterback, insisting it would be a lose-lose situation. Tim Doyle, a commentator, went in on the idea during his segment The Worst Idea (Ever) Tonight. Doyle called the possibility of signing Johnny Manziel a needless “distraction” and asked Kubiak what he was thinking.

Others also lashed out.

Following the outpouring of disbelief at the rumored connection, 9news is reporting the Denver Broncos actually have no intention whatsoever of signing Johnny Manziel. A source told the Colorado news agency that it wasn’t so much Kubiak reaching out to Manziel with a job offer as him checking up on the troubled young man because of their Texas A&M connection.

Did heavy criticism kill the Broncos’ interest in Johnny Manziel, or was a well-meant phone call transformed into overblown news?

It’s quite possible that persons with knowledge of a phone call let it leak to news sources, who then ran with the story as a believable rumor: “Johnny Manziel to join Mark Sanchez in Denver.” Signing Sanchez as a quarterback could itself be construed as a risk by Denver, especially given his shaky starting history in recent seasons. Adding Manziel’s name to the mix made any backlash inevitable.

The reaction is also a sign of just how far Johnny Manziel’s status in the NFL has dropped, it was only a couple short seasons ago that he was a much-hyped first-round NFL draft pick. Now, just the mention of being connected to Johnny is enough to inspire immediate backpedaling.

Such a reality doesn’t bode well for the free agent. As things stand, Johnny Manziel runs the risk of being dropped from the NFL altogether.

[Photo by Frank Victores, File/AP]

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