Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel isn't making things easy on himself after a rough conclusion to his first NFL season, as the organization has reportedly fined the rookie signal-caller for showing up late for treatment on his injured hamstring.
Continue for updates.
Manziel Denies Party Rumors
Monday, Dec. 29
Johnny Manziel commented on rumors alleging that he threw a party that led to his fine for arriving late for treatment, via Tony Grossi of ESPN:
Manziel continued to speak about his actions and his growth, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:
Manziel did not play in Cleveland's Week 17 loss to Baltimore.
Jimmy Haslam, Joe Thomas Comment on Browns' Issues
Sunday, Dec. 28
Following Cleveland's Week 17 loss to Baltimore, owner Jimmy Haslam commented on the issues surrounding the team, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal:
Left tackle Joe Thomas also commented on the issues within the franchise, via Ulrich:
The Browns finished the season at 7-9, losing their last five games after a strong start to the campaign that saw Cleveland in playoff contention. Injuries to Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel saw Connor Shaw under center as the Browns lost 20-10 to the Ravens.
Browns "Frustrated" with Manziel
Sunday, Dec. 28
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported the internal belief within the Browns organization surrounding Manziel:
... Johnny Manziel was fined for being late for treatment after throwing a big party Friday night attended by many members of the club. ...
... The pairing of him [Josh Gordon] and Manziel -- whose nighttime activities and work habits and practice performances continue to worry the organization -- is particularly troublesome, and the timing of Manziel's party, and subsequent tardiness of certain players Saturday has not gone unnoticed in Cleveland.
La Canfora continued:
Manziel was also not present for Saturday's walk-through. The Browns had to send security personnel to Manziel's house on Saturday to try to locate him when he was absent from the building, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. While it's not unusual given that he was placed on IR this week with a hamstring injury, considering Manziel's missteps in college and since entering the league, his own vow to take his job more seriously and his stated desire to be the starting quarterback next season, some on the team thought he might be around for the walk-through session.
This is just another blip in the timeline for Manziel, who consistently made headlines for his on- and off-field antics at Texas A&M. Manziel didn't stop during the offseason either. He is one of the most polarizing young players in the NFL, but it remains to be seen if the Browns feel he is the right quarterback for their franchise.
Earlier this week, Manziel commented on his future within the organization.
"I don't think it would be fair to give up on somebody after seven quarters of football,'' Manziel said, courtesy of Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "If that's what they intended on me coming in here doing, just giving them seven quarters, giving them a couple games and then looking somewhere else, I don't feel like that's a lot of commitment and sticking with somebody.''
Manziel Reportedly Fined by Browns
Saturday, Dec. 27
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com first reported the news of Manziel's fine:
This news comes on the heels of the team's announcement that wide receiver Josh Gordon would be suspended for the final week of the regular season:
Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo noted Gordon missed a team walk-through:
The Browns placed Manziel on injured reserve after he was forced out of the team's 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 16. It had all the makings of a rough outing for the Texas A&M product, as he had completed just three of eight passes for 32 yards before exiting the game.
He showed few signs of improving upon his disastrous first start against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16, when he went 10-of-18 for 80 yards, two interceptions and zero touchdowns.
The punishments levied on Manziel and Gordon are certainly discouraging developments for the 7-8 Browns, who were in the playoff discussion until the final few weeks of the regular season.
First-year head coach Mike Pettine could face questions about player discipline and his ability to take charge of this squad after these incidents. The Browns take on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, a tough contest possibly made more difficult by these late-breaking distractions and the loss of Gordon, one of the most dangerous wideouts in the league when available.