What should the Browns do with Johnny Manziel?

Johnny Manziel’s domestic dispute with girlfriend Colleen Crowley in Avon is concerning, but not the end of the world. How he reacts in the coming months will ultimately determine his future with the Cleveland Browns.

Johnny_Manziel_2014_Browns_training_camp_(2)Before discussing what should be done with Manziel from a football standpoint, it is important to observe the 22-year-old’s current situation with couth.

Fresh off of a 10-week stint in a rehab facility, Manziel must realize “having a couple drinks” in downtown Cleveland is no minor occurrence. In an interview with USA Today, Manziel’s high school coach (with whom he lived with in the offseason) voiced his concerns with Johnny’s choice to drink.

Anyone familiar with addiction and substance abuse knows it does not, simply, disappear. All signs up until this point have been nothing but encouraging regarding Johnny’s behavior/performance both on and off the field, according to those within the organization. With that being said, if Manziel viewed his tumultuous rookie campaign as a wake up call, he must view his latest transgressions as an SOS.

I tip my hat to Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine, addressing the situation for the first time following the team’s home loss to Denver.

“Certainly we’re not saying he has it all figured out. It’s a process and we’re supporting him through it,” he said.

Bingo. We as fans don’t know what Manziel went to rehab for in the offseason, or the extent of his issues. It is not fair for the national media to sit back and crucify Johnny Manziel the person.

Twenty two-year olds can be both immature and ignorant at times. Mistakes are something one learns from, I’ve made a shit ton of mistakes.

It takes some longer to realize the consequences of their decisions, and act accordingly. Last weeks domestic dispute and its subsequent fallout NEEDS to be the catalyst for true change in Johnny’s life.

She (the girlfriend) is a part of his troubled past. Sometimes parting ways with individuals you care about is for your own good, it isn’t easy, but changing your surroundings will put you in an environment to stay on the straight and narrow.

I am not trying to seem all knowing here. It’s just my point of view. I applaud the Cleveland Browns for publicly stating their support for Johnny Manziel the person, but as a fan my patience is wearing thin with his shenanigans. I still believe the guy can play.

But what should the Browns do with him?

It’s becoming increasingly obvious this is Johnny’s last chance to prove his worth in Cleveland. I hope he remains in the Browns organization and we see what we have on the field at some point in the very near future.

Josh McCown’s shoulder injury suffered in Sunday’s ugly 24-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams may have opened the door for Manziel. At 2-5, it seems the team has nothing to lose by throwing their enigmatic quarterback into the fire.

I understand it is Coach Pett’s responsibility to do what gives the team the best chance to win but lets face it, this is not a very good football team. McCown, 36, is 2-15 in his last 17 NFL starts, so it’s not like Manziel is sitting behind a proven winner.

Johnny brings an excitement to the field, almost an X-Factor that can’t be quantified. One win over a bad Tennessee Titans team Week 2 provided a glimpse of what he brings to an NFL playing field. Big “splash” plays are always a possibility when number two’s on the field.

A solid crop of QBs will be available in next year’s draft. It would be advantageous for both the coaching staff and front office to receive an extended sample size from Manziel this season.

You won’t hear me chanting “Johnny! Johnny!” at FirstEnergy Stadium anytime soon, but Josh McCown is Josh McCown, and we are a bad football team. So why not let Johnny Manziel be the quarterback of the present?

Evan Hablitzel

Sports Chat Co-Founder

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