On Thursday, Rebecca Lopez of WFAA News 8 in Dallas reported Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend and said, "shut up or I'll kill us both" after he forced her into a car.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam weighed in on the incident Friday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
Rapoport noted that Haslam did not receive a response when he reached out to the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner multiple times. Rapoport added Haslam "appeared frustrated, emotional."
Lopez reported Manziel's ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, feared for her safety and described the incident in further detail:
Crowley then reportedly hit Manziel several times, hoping to get out of the car, but, she told police, Manziel 'threw me off of him' and she hit her head on the car window. She told police he would not give her her phone.
Sources say Manziel then got on Interstate 30 and began driving to her apartment in Fort Worth. While en route, she claims, she yelled at him, 'I hate you!' He allegedly replied that 'he was going to drop me off, take my car and go kill himself,' sources said.
Sashi Brown, Cleveland's executive vice president of football operations, addressed Manziel in a statement, via Lopez:
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 denied the incident to TMZ following Lopez's report, and Dallas police closed the investigation with no charges. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com provided a statement from the police:
Manziel's father, Paul Manziel, told Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News, "I truly believe if they can't get him help, he won't live to see his 24th birthday."
Manziel was in a rehab facility for "an unspecified problem" for more than 10 weeks in 2015, per Fox Sports, though he returned to the Browns before the season started and played in nine games during the campaign.
While Haslam said the Browns aren't worried about Manziel the football player as much as Manziel the person, the reality is Cleveland needs to solidify its quarterback position if it hopes to compete for a playoff spot in the near future.
Manziel does not appear to be the answer, especially since Pat McManamon of ESPN.com reported the Browns plan on releasing the signal-caller during the offseason.
Josh McCown is under contract through the 2017 season, per Spotrac, but he will be 37 years old at the start of the 2016 campaign and is not exactly the quarterback of the future for the rebuilding franchise. Cleveland, with the No. 2 overall pick, could turn to the draft, and Rob Rang and Dane Brugler of CBS Sports both recently projected the Browns to take North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.
Whether Cleveland elects to grab a signal-caller in the draft or keep McCown as a stopgap until a younger player with a higher ceiling emerges, the days of Manziel under center for the Browns are almost certainly over.