With Josh McCown out for the season with a broken collarbone, the Cleveland Browns, many assumed, would turn to Johnny Manziel to start at quarterback the rest of the way.
Nope. The Browns have announced that Austin Davis, who was 7-of-10 for 77 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore on Monday, will start this Sunday against Cincinnati.
What does this mean for Manziel?
“Well, I think it’s probably the end of him – maybe in the NFL,” former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “The guy is in recovery. He’s either an alcoholic or a drug addict, and he went to recovery and he’s relapsed. That relapse is something that the Browns really don’t want to have any part of. They don’t want him out on the field.”
Okay, then why don’t the Browns just cut him? Why hang on to him?
“That’s the piece that doesn’t make sense to me,” Romanowski said. “Maybe in the offseason they’ll try to make a trade for him, but I don’t know who would want to trade for him. I really don’t.”
Chip Kelly? Jerry Jones?
“Maybe, but he’s damaged goods,” Romanowski said. “We’ve all seen with Aldon Smith what happened with him with his recovery and his relapses and the challenges he’s had. . . . I look at it this way: Aldon Smith is a good enough player that you take a chance on (him). Johnny Manziel has not proven – especially at the quarterback position, who has to be the leader of your team, the leader of your organization – that he can be that guy. Aldon Smith is a little different story.”
As Brandon Tierney pointed out, though, Smith has a pretty straightforward job: rush the passer. Playing quarterback in the NFL is, needless to say, a little more involved, a little more nuanced, and Manziel really hasn’t gotten a legitimate chance – at least not on the field – to show what he can do. He’s attempted just 163 passes in his 12-game career and has six touchdowns (five pass, one rush) to six interceptions.
Still, if this is the end for Manziel, Romanowski won’t have much sympathy.
“You profess to have figured it out and you’re trying to do the right thing, and then all of a sudden you get caught in social media out drinking and partying,” Romanowski said. “At least be smart enough where you have some kind of a party at your house, lock the doors, don’t let anyone have their phones out, and have a blast. Bring all the hookers and girls you want – fly them in, do whatever. Have your boys over. But hey, be smart about it. He (isn’t) smart about it.”