NFL Rumors: Browns have given up on Manziel as franchise QB

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Have The Browns Given Up On Johnny Manziel?


Tony Grossi, an analyst for ESPN Cleveland, was quoted on Twitter saying that the Browns have given up on the idea of Johnny Manziel as a franchise quarterback. Manziel was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.


Johnny Manziel was by no means a sure thing and many Browns fans wanted the team to focus on building around quarterback Brian Hoyer. By drafting Manziel Cleveland immediately attracted excessive media attention. Manziel's popularity in college and his rich playboy attitude created a spectacle, which troubled the Browns.

Manziel brought significant media attention despite not seeing the field in the regular season until late in the year. In his first career start Manziel went 10-of-18 for 80 yards, with two interceptions, and a 27.3 passer rating. The Browns were shut out in the midst of a playoff hunt. Bengals players taunted Manziel with his signature money pose. In his second career start Manziel was knocked out of the game with a hamstring injury. Describing his rookie year as underwhelming would be an understatement.

To add further problems, Manziel had difficulty earning the respect of the locker room and there were reports of him rubbing teammates the wrong way. One of these teammates was the much respected franchise left tackle Joe Thomas.

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NFL Rumors: Browns have given up on Manziel as franchise QB
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Brown gets set to throw as Quinton Coples #98 of the New York Jets closes in during the third quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium on September 13, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets won 31-10. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 20: Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 20, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) celebrates running back Dion Lewis (28) scoring a touchdown on a pass, during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Washington Redskins inside linebacker Will Compton (46) pursues Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) sacks Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws under the protection of guard John Greco (77) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) sacks Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) looks to pass under pressure from Washington Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield (96) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) reacts after Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) was sacked during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel passes during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel throws on the run during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Young fans clamor for autographs from Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) after practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Rex Grossman, left, talks with Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Connor Shaw, Johnny Manziel (2) and Brian Hoyer (6) during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. The Browns announced earlier that had signed Grossman, an unrestricted free agent, and waived quarterback Tyler Thigpen. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel passes during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2014, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Johnny Manziel (2) and Brian Hoyer throw a pass during NFL football practice at the team's training camp in Berea, Ohio. heir helmet-to-helmet, throw-for-throw competition down to its final days. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel signs for fans after practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) passes during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel passes during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Brian Hoyer, left, and Johnny Manziel take snaps during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) walks off the field after losing to the Detroit Lions 13-12 in the a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2014, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Brian Hoyer, left, and Johnny Manziel drop back to pass during NFL football practice at the team's training camp in Berea, Ohio. heir helmet-to-helmet, throw-for-throw competition down to its final days. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) escapes a diving Detroit Lions outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy (95) in the second half of a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) audibles against the Detroit Lions in the second half of a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles from the Detroit Lions rush in the second half of a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles from Detroit Lions strong safety Don Carey (26) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
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Joe Thomas said of Manziel that he had, "lost the trust of the locker room." Since the end of his rookie year Manziel has voluntarily attended rehab for substance abuse and is apparently making an effort to turn himself around. Thomas has said of Manziel recently that he is "night and day from last year." This might give some pause to the notion that the Browns have moved on from Manziel, but Cleveland's draft plans say otherwise.

Reports that the Browns offered their two first rounders for the Titans' second overall pick give a strong indication that the Browns are interested in quarterbacks Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. It is highly unlikely that the Browns would be interested in paying such a high price for the second overall pick if they were not targeting a potential franchise quarterback. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sure to take Mariota or Winston with the first overall pick on Thursday night, with the popular sentiment having them taking Winston.

The other quarterback may not make it past the second pick. If the Browns were committed to the idea of Manziel as a franchise quarterback then such a trade would be a waste of picks that could be better spent building around Manziel. Regardless of Cleveland's interest in Manziel as their franchise QB, if they can't trade up then he may be the one their stuck with come opening day.

Either the Browns give Manziel a legitimate shot at success or the Browns first-round quarterback carousel continues. If they draft a QB in the first it would mark the third time in four years that the Browns will have taken a QB with a first round selection.

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