The Cleveland Browns had a bye in Week 11, and TMZ Sports reported on Nov. 23 that starting quarterback Johnny Manziel used that time to party in Austin, Texas, over the weekend. Following the release of the video, he lost his starting position and was dropped down the depth chart.
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Manziel Reportedly Lied About Age of Video
Thursday, Nov. 26
Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman and Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported that Manziel lied to the Browns about when the video was shot and asked those who knew of the incident to lie on his behalf.
On Nov. 23, Manziel talked about the tape, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com:
You know there's all kinds of people that come out. Videos can be old. Videos can be all kinds of different things. So like I said, I'm not in a state to be able to speak on it because my focus has been on this today and what really matters in this game on Monday. So that's where my focus has been. I did get a chance to relax. So I haven't seen anything like that, and I'm not going to be able to speculate on it right now.
Pettine Comments on Manziel's Demotion, Future with Browns
Wednesday, Nov. 25
The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous, but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we've decided it's best to go with Josh [McCown] as the starter going forward.
According to Cabot, Pettine said he believes moving Manziel away from being the starter "is absolutely necessary to maximize his chance for future success."
However, despite the demotion, Pettine said Wednesday, per Cabot, that there's been no talk of cutting Manziel.
"We certainly hope not," Pettine said, according to Cabot, when asked if this is the end of the road for Manziel in Cleveland. "Made great progress. We told him, 'This isn't a dead end, it's a hurdle.'"
On Wednesday, Pettine said, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal, "this was [the] final straw because Manziel's actions came on [the] heels of discussions between [himself], [offensive coordinator John] DeFilippo and [quarterbacks coach Kevin] O'Connell." Pettine added, per Cabot, that "it was made reasonably clear" to Manziel that he had a "zero-tolerance policy" over the bye week.
On Tuesday, Pettine said he, general manager Ray Farmer and owner Jimmy Haslam have spoken to Manziel regarding the video. The head coach also said he "doesn't know enough details" about the video and the timing of it to say whether Manziel needs help. Pettine did not state whether the organization would require the quarterback to do so.
Video Surfaces of Manziel Partying in Texas
Monday, Nov. 23
According to TMZ Sports, Manziel was out both Thursday and Friday nights. TMZ shared a short clip of Manziel, with the Browns quarterback holding a bottle of Dom Perignon in his right hand:
Cabot of Cleveland.com confirmed Manziel stopped by RIO rooftop bar "at some point" on Nov. 20. Manziel wasn't arrested over the weekend, nor was there any indication he caused trouble in Austin, per TMZ.
Manziel Having Trouble Staying Under the Radar
For most athletes, this story would be much more innocuous. However, Manziel has drawn attention to himself in the past for his partying habits, and he entered a treatment facility back in January.
In October, police in Avon, Ohio, pulled Manziel over, at which point Manziel admitted to getting into an argument with his girlfriend while driving on a stretch of highway. He also admitted to drinking in downtown Cleveland prior to the incident.
"When it's a repeated pattern of behavior, it's a concern," Pettine said.
Given the amount of exasperation that comes across in Pettine's public statements and the 22-year-old's tumbling down the depth chart, Manziel's days in Cleveland could be numbered.