Free-agent quarterback Johnny Manziel stated Monday night he doesn't expect a reunion with the Cleveland Browns despite the team's lingering problems under center.
Manziel, who recently returned to Texas A&M to resume classes after failing to land an NFL job for the 2016 season, spoke with TMZ Sports about the Browns and the hot-button topic of national anthem protests by the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick and other players around the league.
When asked about potentially getting a call from the Browns, the 23-year-old former first-round pick replied, "I doubt that'll happen," adding, "I wish them the best."
Cleveland brought in former Washington Redskins starter Robert Griffin III during the offseason, but he's now sidelined after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 1. Replacement Josh McCown suffered the same fate in Week 2, leaving rookie Cody Kessler as the only healthy QB on the roster.
While Manziel doesn't expect to fill that void, TMZ Sports still asked whether he'd join the protests if he ended up on an NFL roster again. He dodged the question but did note he felt Kaepernick is "standing up for what he believes in."
Here's a look at the full exchange between the quarterback and TMZ Sports:
Ultimately, Manziel will need to establish himself as a model citizen for an extended period of time before he gets another chance in the NFL. He went through a series of off-field problems while with the Browns and struggled when he did play, posting a lackluster 74.4 passer rating in 15 games.
In addition, Jennifer Emily of the Dallas Morning News reported in June that Manziel is seeking a plea deal after being indicted on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge for a January incident involving ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley.
Yet Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted the Heisman Trophy winner has remained confident of an eventual comeback, stating in a July Instagram post: "I'm not what you read about. I'll be back...in time. It can't end like this...it won't. I love you all even though your comments suck."