Browns GM talks Johnny Manziel, says team won’t hesitate drafting QB in first round
In what only can be considered a potentially damning indictment to Johnny Manziel — or at the very least an incredibly stern warning to the young player — Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer indicated Tuesday in comments made to the media that the team would not hesitate to select a quarterback in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Farmer said the lesson learned about “”What’s important now?” will guide the organization’s outlook at the draft — the Browns hold the No. 12 and No. 19 picks — and that Manziel will be given a chance to compete for the starter’s job against all quarterbacks on the roster, regardless of whether his competition at the position comes out of the draft, comes to the organization by other means or otherwise.
But Manziel will have to prove himself to the organization before he’s handed the reins and that includes how he treats his first offseason as an NFL player.
“I would tell you that words don’t mean anything,” Farmer said. “We’re all about action.”
Manziel of course became the center of yet another controversy over the weekend when he admitted to oversleeping and arriving late to an injury treatment session on Saturday.
“It’s about actions, it’s about being accountable instead of looking like a jackass,” Manziel said of his latest gaffe, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “Either I’m going to learn or I’m going to be finding something else to do.”
Farmer concurred, adding that Manziel “needs to come in and demonstrate he’s ready to be an NFL quarterback … We need him to do the things he needs to do.”
Farmer also addressed the much ballyhooed video that surfaced late Monday night/early Tuesday morning (below) where Manziel is seen in an Instagram post wishing his pal LeBron James a happy birthday.
The Browns general manager seemingly downplayed the video’s significance, saying that being under the microscope and having his personal life being a subject of intense scrutiny is Manziel’s “lot in life” and that simply being out and about does not prove nor establish that the 22-year-old is “up to no good.”
As far as the reports that Farmer and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam weren’t on the same page regarding the selection of Manziel in last year’s draft and that Haslam ordered Farmer to draft Manziel, the general manager said that was definitely not the case and that Haslam “did not make the call’.”
How the Browns head into the 2015 NFL season at the quarterback position obviously revolves entirely around how Manziel conducts himself in the next several months, in particular ahead of the draft. If he fails to show some semblance of maturation, not to mention dedication to the craft of quarterbacking, it’s possible the Browns will begin in earnest to seek out the presumed franchise quarterback’s replacement, something that no one in the organization arguably envisioned occurring so soon, if at all, at least in the next decade-plus.
On the other hand, it all could be a heavy dose of posturing, an attempt to put some pressure on Manziel to take his career more seriously.
(photo credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak)