While Johnny Manziel got picked as the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, he has failed to show the on-the-field promise many assumed would blossom once “Johnny Football” hit the pro ranks. Unfortunately, the potential he’s shown most is his propensity for off-the-field problems, the latest being a spat with his girlfriend while driving on I-80 this past Friday. Stopped by police for making a dangerous high speed pass around another car using the shoulder of the road, Manziel admitted to police that he had been drinking. A major red flag!
Although police determined that he wasn’t intoxicated enough to be charged, the fact that he’s drinking anything so close to his recent 10-month stint in rehab means he may face disciplinary action by the Browns. In addition to drinking alcohol, accusations by his girlfriend Colleen Crowley that he had grabbed her arm now bring up a question of potential domestic violence even though she chose not to press charges.
Manziel was his own best press agent during his college years and his rookie year with the Browns, promoting his well deserved party boy image and his habit of rubbing his fingers together to indicate the money sign. Many thought his showing off was funny; many didn’t share that opinion. But most everyone thought he’d be an immediate gridiron all-star in the NFL. In reality, he’s been his own worst enemy, or to quote the classic line from the iconic comic strip “Pogo,” “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
In spite of the heightened awareness of domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse within the NFL, the Browns gave Manziel a second chance to get his act together, supporting his decision to go into alcohol rehab during this past offseason. But Browns general manager Ray Farmer has now said in a statement regarding the latest incident, “We were aware of the situation. It is a matter that we take seriously and have expressed our concerns to Johnny directly. Those conversations will remain private and we will refrain from further comment at this time.”
While the Browns chose not to deactivate Manziel for Sunday’s game and are making no further comments at this time, that’s not stopping former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher from chiming in. He thinks that Manziel’s police encounter means it’s time for the team to dump Manziel. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Northeast Ohio Media Group, Cowher said he’s watched the quarterback for a year and a half and “I think he’s a backup quarterback at best.”
Cowher continued to say that he believes in second chances “but after the second chance, to me there’s a zero-tolerance policy. … I would ask for his release and I would do it for this reason: in that locker room players want accountability … and that’s the message that needs to be sent right here, that you’re accountable for your actions both on the field and off the field.”
Maybe it’s time for Johnny Manziel to grease up his resume and start looking for a new career path.
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