Manziel was a Mistake from the start for the Browns

Well the Johnny Manziel era as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland browns sure didn’t last long. Roughly a week after he was named the starter for the remainder of the 2015 season, Browns head coach Mike Pettine announced on Tuesday that not only Manziel would not start this week’s game versus Baltimore, but he was now listed as the third string quarterback on the depth chart behind Austin Davis. This bold move by Pettine not only likely ends Manziel's stay in Cleveland but it could also cost General Manager Ray Farmer and Pettine their jobs as well. This latest firestorm Manziel finds himself caught up in stems from a recently released video which shows Manziel with a champagne bottle in his hand partying in Austin, Texas during the Browns' bye week. Manziel, who earlier this year (Jan 28th), had checked himself into a rehab center to help sort out some of his off-field issues had been instructed in a meeting with Pettine prior to the bye to lay low and make sure to avoid causing this type of distraction. Obviously, Manziel’s decision making off the field is still just as bad as it is on the field. What has me scratching my head is why did this video of Manziel apparently drinking and partying irk the Browns to the point that they not only benched him but demoted him, yet the incident that occurred with Manziel's girlfriend in October, where he “allegedly” had been hitting her, was seemingly swept under the rug? I would just cut bait and release Manziel today, as there is no point to have a third string quarterback bring this much distraction to your organization. The Browns made Manziel the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, a decision that was both heralded and scrutinized at the same time. The ones who supported the pick were Browns' majority owner Jimmy Haslam and a number of the Browns faithful who had visions of “Johnny Football” running around and making plays happen out of nothing like he did while he played for Texas A&M. The truth was that Manziel should have never been drafted in the first round (no quarterback under six feet should be) as his play with the Aggies, although exciting, was not NFL caliber. Manziel played in Kevin Sumlin's spread offense where he had one read to make, and if that was not there, Manziel would scramble to buy time until a receiver (usually Mike Evans) would come free or make a play on a jump ball that Manziel would float up there. Many scouts and front office personnel had their doubts, as did I, that Manziel would be anything but a backup in the NFL. Yet the Browns, namely Haslam, appeared enamored with the aura and popularity that Manziel brought with him. Manziel signed with LeBron James's business partner Maverick Carter to represent him, which caused a bit of a stir in Cleveland. This move somehow seemed to give the fans, and apparently Haslam, the impression that if LeBron wants to be associated with Johnny Football, then he must be the real deal. The decision to draft Manziel also cost the Browns the opportunity to potentially draft other quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater, David Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo, all whom were drafted after Manziel and all whom were highly rated prospects. Any one of those three quarterbacks would have been a better selection and would have given Mike Pettine and his staff a fighting chance. Instead, an overzealous owner got caught up in the hype that surrounded “Johnny Football” ignoring the off-field distractions and the on-field limitations just to make a splash. As it stands now, Pettine, who by all accounts appears to be a good coach, most likely will be fired at the end of the season along with general manager Sam Farmer because they were unsuccessful in getting a third string quarterback to grow up and act like a professional. Danny Shimon is a graduate of Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp.  Follow Danny on Twitter @dshimon56
Danny Shimon
NFPost Scouting 101 & Scouting Seminar Graduate. Bears writer for www.windy-citysport.com

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