So far this offseason, things remain uncertain surrounding Johnny Manziel's future with the Cleveland Browns. On Thursday at the 16th annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, Browns legend and Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown offered his take on the young quarterback.
Brown wants to see Manziel remain with the team.
"To be honest, I don't want to see him traded or anything like that," Brown said, per Tom Reed of Cleveland.com. "I just never feel that's the answer to anything. But that's my opinion and I don't expect you to feel that way. I like Johnny."
At the end of the regular season, it looked like Manziel would be out of Cleveland, especially after he reportedly wound up in Las Vegas with a blond wig and fake mustache on, per ESPN Radio Las Vegas, via Shalise Manza Young of Yahoo.com, the night before his team's Week 17 matchup.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King even stated that the Browns were "so done" with Manziel after the incident.
Yet, on Thursday night, Browns owner Jimmy Haslem said that things with Manziel could be patched up, via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com.
If that's the case, it might be beneficial for new head coach Hue Jackson to speak with the troubled quarterback.
It's been over two weeks since the former Bengals offensive coordinator has been hired, but Manziel doesn't seem to be a big priority at the moment.
"I'm going to get around to everybody. He just wasn't in the first batch of guys—but he's definitely on our list," Jackson told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Per Reed, Brown "would never second-guess Jackson's decision," but he realizes there has to be more progress on the field and less headlines off it:
Your leadership has to be able to deal with players and I don't think that Johnny is a bad guy. But I think he needs someone to deal with him, give him an opportunity to be the nice Johnny, the intelligent Johnny. ...
... They don't come ready made, but on the other hand the argument is he's a man. He should know how to conduct himself. He has an opportunity and we've got all of that, but I like him and I hope they are able to relate and if they are able to relate then he will respect the coach.
Having started just eight games in his first two seasons in the league, Manziel is hardly looking like the franchise quarterback he was expected to be when he was first drafted. At the end of the day, what it all boils down to is his ability to lead Cleveland's offense.
If the Browns keep him on after he speaks with Jackson and can piece together a decent offseason, he might just get that chance. However, he might have to survive not only a meeting with Jackson, but the possibility of the Browns drafting another quarterback with their No. 2 overall pick.
Getting the backing from one of the greatest players to wear the Browns uniform could help his case moving forward, though.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com
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