clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Browns expected to dump Johnny Manziel after hiring Hue Jackson

The Johnny Manziel era in Cleveland is nearing an end.

Johnny Manziel's tenure in Cleveland has been marred by controversy, and the team's hiring of Hue Jackson as its new head coach signals the end of Manziel's time with the Browns.

Jackson, who finalized his deal with the Browns Wednesday, told owner Jimmy Haslam that he wants to "move on" from the troubled quarterback, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported that Jackson does not want to stake his job and reputation on Manziel.

When Jackson was asked about Manziel at his introductory press conference Wednesday, he sidestepped the question.

"I have to give everyone on this team a chance to see who they are and go from there," Jackson said. "I need to evaluate him as a football player and find out more about [other things]."

Manziel was drafted by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in 14 games in his two seasons in Cleveland, completing 147 of 258 passes for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. But more than his play on the field, Manziel has gained a reputation for his antics away from football.

Following his rookie season, he spent some time in rehab. During the 2015 season, he found himself in hot water with the Browns organization when video of Manziel partying during the team's bye week surfaced. Manziel was demoted to third string for lying to team officials about the situation.

Former Browns head coach Mike Pettine restored Manziel as the team's starter heading into Week 14, but made it clear that Manziel was expected to live up to the team's expectations on and off the field. Another video of Manziel partying surfaced around Christmas, and although Pettine said the circumstances differed from the previous incident, he also acknowledged that anything that potentially cast Browns players in a bad light was a concern.

Manziel's season ended when he was diagnosed with a concussion prior to the team's final game. Austin Davis started in Manziel's place. Manziel missed the season finale and reports suggest that he may have been in Las Vegas instead.

If the Browns trade or release Manziel, the quarterback could find himself in Dallas next season. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted to draft Manziel in 2014, but was steered by others toward guard Zack Martin instead. Other potential landing spots include the San Francisco 49ers and Rams.

The Browns hold the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and Hue Jackson may be hoping to land a franchise quarterback with the pick. It's also possible the team would look to add a veteran presence at the position. The 49ers appear set to move on from Colin Kaepernick, who would be a possibility for Cleveland according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Jackson has said in the past that he wished to draft Kaepernick in 2011 when he was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, believing Kaepernick to be the best quarterback in a draft that also included the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton.

Jackson has a strong track record of quarterback development. As a quarterbacks coach with the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and 2009, Jackson helped mold Joe Flacco into a quality starter. Flacco was the first quarterback to ever start in and win two playoff games in his rookie season. Under Jackson's leadership in Cincinnati, Andy Dalton finished the season with 3,250 yards and 25 touchdowns, while throwing just seven interceptions in 13 games.

* * *

SB Nation presents: A timeline of the Browns' dysfunctional Week 17