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Jim Brown doesn’t want Johnny Manziel ‘traded or anything like that’

Johnny Manziel

Jim Brown’s opinion carries a lot of wait in Cleveland, and the Browns icon is holding out hope that the team doesn’t give up on Johnny Manziel just yet.

“To be honest, I don’t want to see him traded or anything like that,” Brown said at the 16th annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, via Cleveland.com’s Tom Reed. “I just never feel that’s the answer to anything. But that’s my opinion and I don’t expect you to feel that way. I like Johnny.”

The enigmatic quarterback’s future with the team is an iffy prospect at best, but Brown believes the changes in the organizational hierarchy — highlighted by the hiring of Hue Jackson as head coach — could provide the structure and guidance Manziel arguably needs at this early stage in his career, especially in light of his frequent off-the-field missteps.

“Your leadership has to be able to deal with players and I don’t think that Johnny is a bad guy,” he said. “But I think he needs someone to deal with him, give him an opportunity to be the nice Johnny, the intelligent Johnny.”

Brown was critical of the previous Browns regime, saying the leadership “has not been there and it puts everything up in the air.”

The Browns have been hesitant to address Manziel’s future. Jackson indicated this week he hasn’t even spoken to Manziel yet and did so in a dismissive manner.

Owner Jimmy Haslam, meanwhile, expressed optimism that there remains a chance Manziel and the team can repair their relationship.

Brown, who has defended the young quarterback on previous occasions, again stressed how the new leadership can help Manziel overcome his issues.

“I like Johnny and I know a lot of kids that if you don’t know how to deal with them, you lose them,” he said. “They don’t come ready made, but on the other hand the argument is he’s a man. He should know how to conduct himself. He has an opportunity and we’ve got all of that, but I like him and I hope they are able to relate and if they are able to relate then he will respect the coach.”