Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has made it clear he has no intentions of changing his hard-partying ways.
Well, he may have to rethink that stance.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is unhappy with Manziel's money phone video and the team has instructed the former Heisman Trophy winner to tone down his act on social media.
Manziel posted a video where he pretends a stack of cash is his phone and shouts into it: "I can't hear you! I have too much money in my f---- hand!"
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that the video annoyed Haslam: "It did not sit well with the owner Jimmy Haslam, who did instruct his staff to at least have a talk with Johnny about being more savvy as he deals with social media. We know you're young. We know you're single. Joe Montana himself said that Bill Walsh pulled him aside, and that was before the age of social media. Johnny Manziel has been told to tone it down, and to watch what goes up on social media."
Manziel denied that the Browns have asked him to change.
"I don't think I'm doing anything wrong,'' Manziel said. "I'm going out. Everybody goes out on the weekends and enjoys their life and lives their life and just for them, they don't have people that when they walk into a place pull out their phones and all they want to do is follow me around and record everything, so my situation is unique and different and now more than ever I've seen that it's an every weekend thing wherever I'm at, whether it's here in Cleveland on a weekend, or in Dallas or anywhere on a weekend people want to record what I'm doing because they think it's a story.
"Everybody goes out and has fun. I'm not doing anything that's putting myself in a harmful situation. I'm not doing anything that's putting my team or jeopardizing what I do here throughout the week, or what I'm looking forward to doing this season.''
Manziel is drawing plenty of criticism from Hall of Fame players, including Emmitt Smith, Warren Moon and Joe Montana.
He says he's not going to change, sticking to his guns.
"I'm not going to change who I am for anybody,'' Manziel said. "I'm growing up and continuing to learn from my mistakes and trying not to make the same ones over and over again, but am I going to live in a shell or am I just going to hide from everybody and not do anything? I don't think that's the way I should live my life and I'm not going to do it.
"I'm here, I'm very committed to football. I'm committed to my job, but on the weekends, I'm going to enjoy my time off. We deserve it. We work hard here. We've worked hard since the draft. We worked hard to get drafted and put ourselves in a good position at the Combine, even after that, working to stay in shape. I am going to enjoy my time off. I'm very about football and very about my job, which doesn't get reported or won't get reported, but I am going to enjoy my time off. That's I think what everybody else does and that's what I should do.''
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun
It’s not just fans and members of the media who are focusing on the off-field activities of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is also taking notice — and he doesn’t like what he sees.
That’s the word from Chris Mortensen of ESPN, who reported on the air today that Haslam wants Manziel to tone it down. Haslam was apparently bothered by the video that surfaced of Manziel holding a large stack of cash up to his ear, pretending it was a phone, and saying, “”I can’t hear you. There’s too much money in my f–king hand.”
“It did not sit well with the owner Jimmy Haslam, who did instruct his staff to at least have a talk with Johnny about being more savvy as he deals with social media,” Mortensen said, via Cleveland.com. “We know you’re young. We know you’re single. Joe Montana himself said that Bill Walsh pulled him aside, and that was before the age of social media. Johnny Manziel has been told to tone it down, and to watch what goes up on social media.”
But while Haslam may have passed that message along, Manziel apparently didn’t get it: Manziel has already declared that he won’t change his ways.
And while Haslam may have a point that Manziel would be better off toning things down off the field, one wonders: What did Haslam expect? Haslam excitedly said after the Browns drafted Manziel that everyone in Cleveland — even homeless people — was excited about Johnny Football. The Johnny Football persona isn’t just about what Manziel did on the field at Texas A&M, any more than the Broadway Joe persona was all about what Joe Namath did on the football field. When Haslam’s Browns drafted Johnny Manziel, they knew they were getting Johnny Football as part of the bargain.