2014 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns’ Interest in Johnny Manziel Gives St. Louis Rams Trade Leverage

By Anthony Blake
Johnny Manziel 2014 NFL Draft St. Louis Rams
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been difficult to avoid the Johnny Manziel talk already this offseason as the former Texas A&M showstopper has announced he will be bringing his improvisational act to the NFL in 2014. Reports that surfaced recently, however, have given even more life to the Manziel narrative as the Cleveland Browns are reportedly interested in trading up for the controversial signal-caller. What this means for the St. Louis Rams could be yet another Robert Griffin III-esque haul in the form of a trade down from the No. 2 overall selection.

The team has already made it public information that they are willing to move the pick for the right price. General manager Les Snead has shown an affinity for maneuvering up and down the draft board in his first two years calling the shots for the Rams, and this season figures to be no different with plenty of options potentially available to the team in terms of a trade partners. What this early proclamation from the Browns indicates, however, is that the Rams already have one bite on their trade bait and the Super Bowl isn’t even over yet.

One potential pitfall to this hypothetical haul for the Rams is the fact that the team picking No. 1 overall right in front of them, the Houston Texans, is also apparently interested in moving down. Though the price to move up that high may be much steeper than swapping spots with the Rams, given the Texas connections with Manziel and the potential draw for merchandise and ticket sales perhaps the Browns would be wise to take Houston out of the equation altogether if they truly desire the former Heisman Trophy winner.

What seems most beneficial about this for the Rams is clearly the fact that we are still in the infantile stages of the pre-draft rumor mill. The NFL Scouting Combine doesn’t take place until the final week of February, and the selection festivities were pushed back even further to early May this offseason. Needless to say, there is still plenty of time to swing a deal before the 2014 NFL Draft gets here, and the Rams appear to be the top candidates for moving down yet again.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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