When the NFL Combine and the pre-draft workouts all began, there was something about the words “Johnny Manziel” and “Cleveland Browns” that constantly found themselves in the same sentence. Many of us overlooked it, though, and if you didn’t overlook it, then you probably did after they traded down in the first round and then passed on him with the eighth pick.
It looked like all of that Manziel to the Browns talk ended up just being a smokescreen and that they weren’t going to be adding a quarterback early in the first round. If they did add one in the first, it looked like it wouldn’t be until their 26th pick in the first, a spot where Manziel may not be available still.
We were all wrong at that point, but it may not have been the fact that the Browns were locked in on him, as much as the fact that Manziel really did want to be a Brown.
While Teddy Bridgewater reportedly “didn’t want to go to the Browns”, it seemed that Manziel did. Manziel could have texted any team in the NFL, but he chose to text the Browns, even after the team passed on him at No. 8.
That text to quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains simply said “I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to wreck this league together.”
The trade ended up happening, as the Browns moved up from No. 26 to 22 thanks to a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, and they even stated afterwards that they knew they had to move ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs at 23, because the Chiefs were planning on drafting him apparently.
After reading the text, it poses the question: Why did Manziel want Cleveland so badly? Or was it just that he thought they were the most likely to trade up to get him?
You may not believe it, but I do. Manziel wanted to be in Cleveland just like he did when he said if he landed there he would “pour his heart out for the dog pound.”
Well, Manziel had an opportunity to be the face of a city and the face of a franchise. Not only that, but he knew the team wanted him and he wanted the team. This was a match made in heaven, because this city absolutely loves their sports teams, and they will be all-in for Manziel and all-in for the team as well.
Anytime as a player can get into a situation where the entire stadium is going to have his back and get on board with him as the future, that’s a place where he’ll want to be. Cleveland has playmakers as well in the likes of Josh Gordon (yes, suspension, I know), Jordan Cameron and newly acquired Ben Tate, Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin. This is a great spot for a rookie quarterback, and Cleveland isn’t the black hole for quarterbacks that some people think it used to be.
Manziel to the Browns was the right move. I honestly believe it was the best move and is the place he wants to be.