It’s official! Johnny Manziel is joining the AAF to play for the Memphis Express. A few weeks ago I talked about why the AAF should sign Johnny Manziel and this episode explores why this is great for the upstart league. Either way this is big for the league.
The AAF has reportedly shown interest in Johnny Manziel who was recently barred from the CFL. We have a official statement from the league on their interest in the former first round pick and why it makes sense for the league to bring Manziel in.
Johnny Manziel has not only been released in the CFL but barred by the league. The 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has not played in the NFL since 2015 and has been known for his issues off the field. However, should the AAF give him a shot? I break down why it would be a low risk potential high reward situation for the AAF to bring in Manziel.
Another day, another story about Johnny Manziel. After a fan was trash talking the Browns’ quarterback at a golf tournament in Texas, Manziel reportedly threw a water bottle at the heckling fan in frustration. While I can actual see Manziel’s side of fans that cross the line and berate athletes, his handling of the situation proves the lack of maturity that continues to plague the young quarterback.
It appears that Cleveland, who traded up to select Manziel in the first round last year, is reportedly looking to move on from Johnny Football. It’s one thing to question if Maziel’s natural ability will translate to the field. Personally, I don’t think he will given his size, arm, and that his best success came ad libbing an offense at the college level. Best comparison would be Troy Smith from Ohio State with a higher celebrity status.
I can get why Maziel reacted the way he did with the fan over the weekend. Still, he should have the maturity to realize that he is already on thin ice with his off the field escapades and should either not go out to public events or bring a security detail with him. Still, even if Manziel can mature the bridge could have already been burned in Cleveland. Given the quarterback talent on the roster Johnny Football can he be the starter in Cleveland, but as a leader of men the question is has he lost his team?
Robert Griffin the III is the best example of a quarterback that has seemingly lost the faith of the players and coaches in an NFL organization. Thing is Griffin is a former Rookie of the Year and has been in the league for a couple of years. Manizel has only started two games in the pros and has made more headlines for his off the field antics then play on the field.
Look, I get it Johnny. You’re young and want a good time. But whether he likes it or not a quarterback is the CEO of an NFL franchise. Sorry Johnny, I don’t see many other star signal callers rolling dollar bills in vegas or throwing water bottles at fans.
Can Manizel be saved? Of course. If he is willing to put in the work and be a mature adult he can be a successful quarterback in the NFL. I don’t see a star quarterback, but a serviceable starter is not out of the question. However, it may be best for Johnny and the Browns to part ways. There is just too much turmoil in the Cleveland organization to have a quarterback like Manziel. It’s like throwing gasoline of a dumpster fire.
Will the divorce come this season? Probably not. But don’t be surprised if the Browns decide to move on from Johnny Manziel sooner than later.
Where will Mariota go? This has been the biggest question when it comes to the 2015 NFL Draft. At the moment, it is assumed that Florida State’s Jameis Winston will be drafted with the first overall pick. After that, the picture gets very murky.
Could the Titans draft Mariota? While the team does have Zach Mettenberger primed to take over the starting role, the Titans may feel that Mariota has more upside and better mobility to make up for Tennessee’s shaky offensive line then Mettenberger.
What about the Redskins? The Robert Griffin saga could be reaching its conclusion with Griffin’s option for next season counting for $16 Million against the cap. The organization may decide that the once emerging star and rookie of the year has overstayed his welcome in the nation’s capital.
The Jets? Even though the Jets front office has been adamant that it will continue to try to develop Geno Smith, head coach Todd Bowles has said that the Jets will look to address the quarterback position in the draft. New York hasn’t had a franchise signal caller since Joe Namath and could feel that Mariota is their future franchise quarterback.
Even beyond those teams there has been numerous speculations especially that Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles, who have been wheeling and dealing all offseason, will try to move up to take Mariota even though Kelly denies this possible option. However, there is one team that people aren’t talking about who could be in the sweepstakes for Mariota’s services and has the ammunition to go up and get the quarterback. That team is…
The Cleveland Browns. Scratching your head? Let me explain. Despite the poor play at quarterback last season Cleveland finished with a 7-9 record and had a chance to make the playoffs. Cleveland is desperate for a franchise quarterback and thought that they might have found one in last year’s draft. Unfortunately, Johnny Football is now Johnny Rehab as last year’s first round pick has careened out of control. While Cleveland still has holes at the wide receiver and tight end, the most glaring is quarterback.
While the Browns have signed Josh McCown
he is a stop-gap at best at this point in his career. The team has no idea when Manziel will be back and more importantly if he can play in the NFL. Cleveland needs a franchise quarterback to build around and has something no other team has, two first round picks.
Cleveland could trade both picks, or move one pick will keeping the other first round pick this year in a package deal to move up and grab Mariota. If they elect to keep a first rounder this year, and presumably give up high future picks, the team could use that pick to give Mariota a play maker. Would Mariota make the Browns a contender over night? Probably not, but Cleveland is in a better spot then people think.
Despite their tough division and poor quarterback play last season the team finished with a decent record. Mike Pettine has a solid running game and an underrated defense. Like Rex Ryan, we know that Pettine’s square will have a formidable defense. If Mariota can come in and make plays then the Browns could make a run at a division title as soon as next year.
Will this happen? It’s anyone’s guess. While it would make sense for Cleveland to move up, they may feel there are better quarterback options later in the draft or they still, I don’t see how, but still have faith in Johnny Manziel. Either way, don’t be surprised if a franchise that’s been desperate for a franchise quarterback decides to pull the trigger and move up for Mariota.
One thing we do know. It’s going to be an interesting draft because Mariota could go anywhere.
He has been a target for criticism over the past few years.
The persona that Johnny Manziel, or should I say Johnny Football has created over his college and early NFL career is incredible. It’s MTV meets Rudy with a pinch of fantasy. In terms of his presence in the media Johnny Manziel has been a complete success. It’s rare to see any sports outlet not talking about this lightning rod from Texas. In short, Johnny Manziel is Tim Tebow 2.0. Better player, same unnecessary attention.
However, Manziel is something different for Cleveland Browns fans. A symbol of hope.
In a franchise that has been built on futility and despair for almost 60 years, Manziel is a beacon of hope that the franchise has gone all in on. Unfortunately, this will be the biggest disappointment for the Browns since the original franchise moved to Baltimore in 1995.
What you say? How can you say that? It’s only been a preseason. Sorry Browns fans this is not the savior. Don’t get me wrong, I think Johnny can play in this league, he’s just not a player a franchise can be built solely around. If anything Manziel will be like a young Michael Vick. A player who on the highlight real will show off a great deep ball or a 50 yard scramble for a 30 second highlight. But he will never be a consistent quarterback in the NFL. One week he will light it up while the next week he will throw three interceptions. Great quarterback on Sports Center, not in a four quarter NFL game.
Why am I so sure, just look at this past few weeks. This preseason Manziel couldn’t even beat out journeyman Brian Hoyer for the starting job. Why? a 50 % completion rate magnified with errant throws against vanilla second teams defenses is not a good sign. Looking around the league it seems like every other rookie signal caller including ones that the Browns could have selected have outperformed Johnny.
Blake Bortles has played well enough to earn the starting job in Jacksonville, but ore importantly the quarterbacks on the board when the Browns were picking have looked much better. Derek Carr will start in Oakland and has shown off a big arm and the ability to move the football around the field. Teddy Bridgewater has shown that while he may need a little more time to develop could be a solid game manager and starter right now. Even late draft pick Zach Mettenberger has shown flashes in the preseason. Johnny? After a decent showing in the first preseason, the usually loud Manziel was rather quite over the next three weeks.
The other cause for concern? Did you see Texas A&M against South Carolina? Originally people thought that Johnny Manziel made coach Kevin Sumlin. Now we’ve learned it’s the other way around. In Sumlin’s offense sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill played his first SEC game on the road against No. 9 South Carolina. In his first game Hill light up the scoreboard with 511 passing yards and broke all of Johnny’s individual game records in his first start. Looks like Sumlin knows how to coach offense.
Sorry Cleveland, on the bright side Lebron James is back, but if you expect Johnny Manziel to be the football savior for the Browns, prepare for only more heartbreak.