NFL

Twitter Reacts as Johnny Manziel Slides to Cleveland Browns in 2014 NFL Draft

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Craig Ruttle/Associated Press
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2014

The Cleveland Browns got their man.

For the longest time, many assumed the Browns would select former Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel with the No. 4 pick. Instead, Cleveland moved around through trades with the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings, eventually settling at No. 8 and selecting cornerback Justin Gilbert. It was a shock at the time, but clearly the team had a larger plan in mind.

When the Browns moved up to No. 22 from No. 26 after a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, everybody could see the writing on the wall:

Manziel is now a Cleveland Brown:

Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis rolled out the red carpet:

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus pointed out that Cleveland essentially parlayed the Trent Richardson trade into Manziel. That trade looks more and more one-sided by the minute:

ESPN gave fans a preview of what Manziel will look like in a Browns uniform:

After the Browns drafted him, Manziel told NFL Network that he'll do whatever it takes to make Cleveland a winning franchise again, per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:

Rapoport reported that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was very high on the former Aggies star, but the team's front office convinced him it wouldn't be a smart selection at No. 4. Now, the Browns still get Manziel at a much more favorable position.

Although Cleveland arguably got a massive steal, Manziel's slip cost him roughly $1.5 million, according to Spotrac:

The No. 22 pick has become a bit of a poisoned chalice for the Browns, though, as their last two quarterbacks drafted there have been disasters, per Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders:

Browns fans have seen enough false dawns to last two lifetimes. They haven't had a winning season since 2007 and have two winning campaigns since the franchise returned in 1999. But there should be a genuine sense of optimism in Cleveland right now. The team grabbed arguably the best cornerback in the draft in Justin Gilbert and followed it up by drafting Manziel.

For a franchise whose fanbase has always been left saying, "Wait till next year," next year can't come soon enough.

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