Based on the constant push to throw 36-year-old Josh McCown back on the field, it’s become pretty clear the Cleveland Browns aren’t high on Johnny Manziel despite his showing progress this year. However, if we’re to believe the latest news, there’s at least someone in the league who still thinks highly of the second-year QB.
Midway through an appearance discussing the NFL Draft on KRLD, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about possibly picking Tony Romo‘s eventual successor. As the hosts noted the fact Dallas might not be high enough to pick a potential franchise quarterback, Jones quickly interjected with the below quote.
“Except if a great one, [Ben] Roethlisberger or Manziel, falls.”
Realize here that Jones not only sees Manziel – he of four career NFL starts – as a “great one,” he also felt the need to lump him in with a future Hall of Famer in Roethlisberger.
Now, maybe this was said in jest, as by now everyone knows about Jones’ reported infatuation with the former Texas A&M star. Perhaps he was just offering curious praise to poke some fun at this.
However, it wouldn’t be a leap to assume Jones is still kicking himself for not picking Manziel in the 2014 draft. As a result, the Browns should seriously consider seeing if they can swing a deal with the Cowboys this coming offseason and send Manziel to Dallas.
As everyone knows, Jones had Manziel’s name card in his hands when his team’s pick came up last year. Word is he had to have said card wrestled out of his hands, as the Cowboys went on to select lineman Zach Martin. However, since then, Jones hasn’t shown any sign of moving on from passing over Manziel.
His latest comments certainly indicate this, and should also be significant food for thought with the Browns front office.
I’ve spent a good amount of time supporting the idea of Cleveland getting Manziel on the field and finding out if he could potentially be a starter. As it stands, the Browns are much more content having McCown march them through the rest of their failed season. This appears to be a non-subtle way of saying “we just don’t trust Johnny yet.”
So, if Manziel isn’t part of the team’s plans yet, why wouldn’t they send some feelers out towards Dallas to see how badly Jones wants the QB he’s still pining over?
Odds are strong that, if the Browns tested the overall market, there’s no way they end up getting anything significant for a still-unproven Manziel. However, what if they’re offering him to someone who can’t stop seeing him as a “great one”?
I’m not suggesting Cleveland could possibly con Jones into giving him Dez Bryant for Manziel straight up. I don’t think he’s that crazy.
At the same time, it’s worth it for the Browns to try and convince Jones to part with a much higher draft pick than almost every other NFL team would offer. Nobody knows how high Jones would go, but since Cleveland has a player he covets and also has a ton of holes to fill, why not go for broke?
Additionally, there’s a good chance the team might cut bait with Manziel this offseason, especially if the refusal to play him continues throughout the year. If this is indeed the case, obviously it would make more sense to try and get something in return as opposed to just cutting him for nothing.
There are tons of people in and around the league who think Manziel can’t be a franchise quarterback. Based on this season, it’s safe to say a good amount of those people work for the Browns. However, there’s still one man in the NFL who can’t stop raving about a player that isn’t on his team.
It’s time for Cleveland to start focusing on the offseason, and “call Jerry about Johnny” better be on the team’s to-do list.