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Johnny Manziel 'not giving up' on his future with the Browns

After being named the starting quarterback in Cleveland once again, Manziel says he's not taking this situation lightly.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel has been named the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback going into their Week 14 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, but head coach Mike Pettine made it clear on Wednesday that the organization has expectations for Manziel on and off the field that he must meet.

While Pettine said he wouldn't label it a "zero-tolerance policy," he did say that if there were to be further, similar off-the-field incidents, that "repercussions would be harsh," via Mary Kay Cabot of Manziel met with Pettine to discuss the team's expectations for him on Tuesday.

The Browns drafted Manziel with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he's had numerous off-the-field incidents in his first two seasons. He spent 10 weeks in a substance abuse treatment facility following his rookie season. Two weeks ago, Manziel lost the starting job with the Browns when he reportedly lied to team officials about photos that circulated of him partying during Cleveland's bye week.

Pettine said the organization was aware of the off-the-field concerns surrounding Manziel prior to the 2014 draft, but it may have not understood the scope of Manziel's issues.

"I don't think we anticipated that his problems, his issues, maybe how deep-rooted they were, the extent of it,'' Pettine said.

Pettine said that Manziel has been a solid presence in the building since he was demoted to third string on Nov. 24. The Browns want to see what Manziel can do, and they want to see him live up to their expectations. Pettine said it's important for Manziel to understand that he has to earn the trust of his teammates and coaches. The team does feel Manziel is capable of developing the leadership necessary to succeed as a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he's got some work to do to get there.

In 2014, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted to draft Manziel, and Dallas has been identified as a potential landing spot for Manziel should the Browns choose to part ways with him. Manziel, however, is not ready to think about the possibility of life after the Browns.

Manziel has had many opportunities to learn hard lessons since his NFL career began, and he said he has not gotten the impression that this is his last chance in Cleveland. Still, Manziel said he recognizes the disparity between the decisions he has made and the expectations of the organization.

Pettine said that the team wants to give Manziel the opportunity to build on the improvements he's made on the field. In Manziel's last start, a 30-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, he completed 33 of 45 passes for 372 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Understanding that what he does off the field matters as much as what he does on it is a big part of the learning curve for Manziel. Pettine said that Manziel needs to just do his job and earn back the trust of coaches and teammates.

"He understands it, and he knows this is an opportunity for him and we all want him to take full advantage of it," Pettine said.

Manziel has four games left to prove himself to his teammates and the Browns' coaching staff. In six games this season, three of which he started, Manziel has thrown for 933 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.