Browns start Johnny Manziel with 3rd-team during OTAs

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns were serious when they told Manziel that he would have to earn his spot on the depth chart. The No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft opened OTAs as the third-string quarterback.

Johnny Manziel may have been a first-round pick, but he's a third-stringer with the Cleveland Browns for the time being. Manziel opened OTAs behind Brian Hoyer and Tyler Thigpen on the Browns' quarterback depth chart, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, proving that Cleveland wasn't kidding when they told Manziel "This is not Hollywood" and that he would be a backup quarterback until further notice.

Just don't expect Manziel to remain buried on the depth chart for long. Though the Browns' threat wasn't totally hollow, it would also buck a well-established NFL trend of first-round quarterbacks eventually becoming starters during their rookie seasons, with Brady Quinn and Aaron Rodgers being two of the most recent exceptions.

Manziel also has an endorsement from on high courtesy of owner Jimmy Haslam, who reportedly made the call on the trade to move up to No. 22 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, right after Manziel texted the Browns saying he wanted them to take him. Despite what Haslam and coaches have said in the past, Haslam has a history of making decisions about the Browns' on-field product.

The news is interesting given the high expectations for Manziel, but it's also much too early in the NFL calendar to label the situation a controversy. Not that Hoyer won't put up a fight after playing well before tearing his ACL last season. If Manziel is still behind Thigpen come Week 1, however, the Browns may be in trouble.

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