Johnny Manziel has had a tumultuous two years with Cleveland Browns, and it's possible the quarterback won't be back with the team in 2016, but former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin thinks owner and general manager Jerry Jones should make a play to add him to the roster.
Speaking on the Rich Eisen Show (h/t Sean Wagner-McGough of CBSSports.com), Irvin said he thinks Manziel and Dallas would be a good fit:
I love the game of football and the game of football saves lives. If you can get a football player, young guy, Johnny Manziel won a Heisman Trophy at 18-19 years old. He is still growing up. I don't know why we think because a guy can throw a football, run for a touchdown, it makes him the most mature person in the world. There will come a time when he will cross over that threshold and become a great football player and, yeah, I am willing to work with him on that and I hope the Cowboys do get him.
Manziel has had numerous off-the-field issues since the Browns took him in the first round of the 2014 draft, and new director of football operations Sashi Brown's recent comments on the former Texas A&M Aggie don't bode well for his future, per Pat McManamon of ESPN.com:
We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.
Manziel has been involved in fights, admitted to a drinking problem and skipped concussion treatment toward the end of the year to head to Las Vegas. The final straw, per Peter King of Sports Illustrated, happened last week when police were called over a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.
As Irvin already alluded to, he thinks Jones can help Manziel, per Wagner-McGough:
When you are around people that are more sympathetic and have dealt with issues like the Dallas Cowboys or like a Jerry Jones, who will get in there and talk to him on a man-to-man level and help him come along as a man. ... He helped me become a better man, and he will take his time. When you know there is somebody pulling for you up in the higher office, it does make a difference ... I think it can make a difference in this kid's life.
Irvin himself was involved with off-the-field issues as a player, but he eventually earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after an illustrious career in Dallas.
Manziel did improve some from a disastrous rookie year to throw for seven touchdowns compared to zero in his first season, while he raised his quarterback rating from 42.0 to 79.4. However, he played sporadically, and when he did return, he suffered a concussion toward the end of the season and missed the final game.
Mike Greenberg, from ESPN's Mike & Mike show, has a not-so great prediction for the young quarterback:
Mike & Mike @MikeAndMike
"I don't believe Johnny Manziel will be in the NFL next year." – @Espngreeny https://t.co/X1TL5GlivF2/3/2016, 2:52:48 PM
Johnny Football, as he was called in college, should take most of the blame. However, Cleveland is not the place a young quarterback should be if he wants to succeed—it's a struggling franchise that shuffles through head coaches and is under new leadership. Although the Cowboys have had difficulties lately, Tony Romo has had a successful career under center.
Jones is known to give second chances, such as when he signed the much-maligned defensive end Greg Hardy, despite a public domestic violence issue. It didn't work out great, as Hardy struggled to fit in, but that most likely won't stop Jones from trying again.
Dallas needs a quarterback as Romo won't be around forever, and its backup situation is a shambles. Manziel isn't going to succeed in Cleveland, so maybe it's worth a shot. However, if the attempt goes south, both the team and Manziel will only have themselves to blame.