The Johnny Manziel era in Cleveland appears to be coming to an end.
Manziel was seen gambling in Las Vegas this past weekend, despite missing Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh while recovering from a concussion. Needless to say, the Browns are pretty perturbed once again by Manziel’s poor judgment and immature behavior.
Cleveland, it is worth noting, has the second overall pick in this year’s draft – a pick that many believe will be used on a quarterback.
Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney discussed Manziel’s turbulent NFL career to this point and wondered what might have happened to Manziel had the Cowboys drafted him 16th overall in 2014, as opposed to taking offensive tackle Zack Martin.
“Off the field, it would have probably been about the same,” Barber said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney, “but the difference is, he wouldn’t have been vilified like he was in Cleveland. Jerry Jones would have protected him. You know why I now that? Because Jerry Jones has done that – many times. He knows how to do that, shield his guys.”
“I think Johnny is unshieldable,” Tierney countered. “And the proximity to Texas A&M? Forget about it. Are you kidding me? He’s going to be going there every night. I’m not saying he won’t go to Dallas, but he can’t go there. . . . I think it could have been (worse in Dallas than it was in Cleveland). I really do. Because at the end of the day, nobody cares about the Browns. People care about the Cowboys, good or bad.”
Barber isn’t so sure. He believes that apathy is what cost Manziel in Cleveland, while Tierney believes apathy is what saved him.
“I think would have drowned in Dallas,” Tierney said.
“But he didn’t do anything (in Cleveland),” Barber said. “He didn’t start. What did he start, six games? From the moment he was drafted, he was the man. He was what everybody wanted to talk about. He was the guy. In Dallas, he’s not the guy. He’s not outshining Tony Romo. The media are not clamoring to talk to Johnny Manziel when he’s in a locker room with Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and Tony Romo and all these All-Pro offensive linemen. Johnny’s not the guy. Johnny needs to learn how to not be the guy. So even in a mediocre situation, he’s the guy and he’s not playing. Cleveland did him poorly. He ended up in rehab because of the apathy that existed in Cleveland.”
“How about the dopiness with which he leads his own life?” Tierney countered. “You just said that he wound up in rehab because of apathy. That sounds like you’re blaming the Browns. Take control of your own life, Johnny!”
“No one took control of Johnny Manziel in Cleveland,” Barber said.
“Yeah, Tierney said, “including Johnny Manziel.”
Barber agreed that Manziel is responsible for his own actions, but he also thinks the Browns could have protected him more than they did – just as the Cowboys have gone the extra mile to protect players such as Dez Bryant.
“(The Browns) either don’t have the mechanism or they didn’t care,” Barber said. “They thought that Johnny was going to be a grown-up. Johnny is not a grown-up, and you should have known that when you drafted him with the 22nd pick in the NFL draft. He was going to be an F-up. Put somebody on him. Direct this life because you knew it was a risky pick. They were apathetic towards Johnny Manziel.”