Cleveland Browns to Cut Johnny Manziel in March

By Matt Ambrose,
Sports Business Writer

The Cleveland Browns have announced that they will be parting ways with quarterback Johnny Manziel next month. Browns director of football operations Sashi Brown released a statement on Tuesday regarding the troubled quarterback.

“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. 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.”

The Browns are forced to wait until March to release Manziel since they do not have the proper cap space to release him. Releasing Manziel this month would count 4.6 million dollars against the cap, which the Browns do not have. The cap will increase upon the beginning of the new league year on March 9, which is when the Browns will release Manziel.

The move will end Manziel’s two year stint in Cleveland. After coming into the league in 2014 will tremendous hype, he hasn’t exactly fulfilled expectations in the early stages of his career.

Manziel caught the attention of football fans everywhere in 2012 while at Texas A&M University when he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 21 touchdowns. He followed up his Heisman season with an equally stellar performance in 2013, passing the 4,000 yard plateau and was responsible for 46 touchdowns.

Entering the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel’s play on the field was hardly questioned. The same could not be said for his actions off the field. Manziel has several off the field incidents during his time in college, including an arrest in June of 2012 for disorderly conduct, his famous early departure from the Manning Passing Academy in 2013, and his suspension from the 2013 season opener for accepting payments for autographs.

The Browns traded up and drafted Manziel with the twenty-second pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

In his two seasons in the NFL, Manziel has been unable to live up to the expectations. He has appeared in only 15 games, eight of which he started. He has thrown for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 57 percent of his passes in his career.

This past week, Manziel’s agent Erik Burkhardt released a statement saying that he will no longer represent Manziel. Burkhardt stated, “Though I will remain a friend and Johnny supporter…it has become painfully obvious that his future rests solely in his own hands. His family and I have gone to great lengths to outline the steps we feel he must take to get his life in order.”

It is unclear whether or not Johnny Manziel has played his last game in the NFL.
Given his off the field issues and the nature of the league, some teams will be hesitant to take a chance with the former Heisman Trophy winner. However it plays out, one things is for sure. The circus that Johnny Manziel brought to Cleveland is leaving for good.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 9th print edition.

Contact Matt at
matthew.ambrose@student.shu.edu

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