Johnny Manziel denied rumors that a party he threw Friday night caused the quarterback and wide receiver Josh Gordon to miss team activities on Saturday, but he did acknowledge the need to change his behavior.
The Cleveland Browns rookie said he needs to "stop acting like a jackass," according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Manziel drew the ire of Browns management after missing a treatment session for his injured hamstring the day before Cleveland's eventual loss to the Baltimore Ravens. But the quarterback, who had already been ruled out of that game, said reports that he threw a party on Friday night were 100 percent false. Instead, he overslept after going out with friends that night, he told ESPN's Tony Grossi.
Manziel also denied that Gordon, who was absent from a walkthrough on Saturday morning, was out partying with him. Manziel did acknowledge seeing Gordon at one point on Friday, but said the two were not together that night, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer.
This isn't the first time that allegations of late-night partying have gotten Manziel in trouble. When he left the Manning Passing Academy early in July 2013, rumors emerged that he had been kicked out for being hungover. Just one month ago, Manziel's entourage was involved in a late-night brawl in a downtown Cleveland apartment, though the details of Manziel's involvement are unclear.
Those off-field incidents, coupled with Manziel's rocky performances in two late-season starts, have the Browns questioning if he's the long-term answer at quarterback.
"We're not going to tolerate people who are irresponsible no matter what round they're drafted in," said team owner Jimmy Haslam, who added that any young players that can't grow up and be responsible "won't be with the Cleveland Browns."