BEREA, Ohio- The Browns season ended on Sunday with a 7-9 record, but it had plenty of drama in the final days. A lot of that drama surrounded rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel who did not even play Sunday because of an injury.
Manziel, who was placed on injured reserve following a hamstring injury against the Carolina Panthers, made all the headlines this weekend for what he did off the field. Manziel admits he went out Friday night with three friends from Texas, but did not throw a party.
“People in town that were staying with me this week, if three people from Kerrville, Texas are enough to warrant a party, that might be in Kerrville,” Manziel said.
Wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended for Sunday’s game after he missed a team walk-through prior to the charter to Baltimore. Manziel said he was not with Gordon on Friday night.
Earlier in the week, Manziel said he needed to take his job in the NFL more seriously, and he knows actions speak louder than words.
“It’s not something I can tell you; it’s not like I can talk to these microphones or cameras that is going to do any good. It’s about action. It’s about being accountable and doing what I’m going to say,” Manziel said.
Manziel’s teammates are ready to give the quarterback another chance, but they are frustrated that he and other rookies are making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
“I think this experience, how bad it is for them and how everybody is on their backs, I hope it can tighten them up and change them a little bit,” said Browns defensive back Joe Haden.
Manziel was not on the field during Sunday’s season finale in Baltimore, but was in the locker room on his phone. He admits he favorited a tweet, but says he was not tweeting during the game. He continues to apologize to his teammates for his off-the-field actions.
“I’m sorry to these guys that are veterans in this locker room that know what it takes. I’m learning that the hard way, but at the same time I’m either going to learn or I’m going to be finding something else to do,” the rookie quarterback said.
Manziel knows how critical this off-season will be for him and his future in the NFL. He says it’s time to look in the mirror and hold himself accountable.
“Do I want to be known as a guy who is in the league for two years and doing something else with his life or do I want to come in here and compete and give this thing a fair chance?” he said.”
Justin Gilbert and Gordon were not in the locker room on Monday as their teammates cleaned out their lockers and headed to the off season.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer also spoke to the media on Monday. He called the season positive for the franchise and said it would be great to return to the Browns. He added he wants some time away before thinking about free agency.
Hoyer’s nameplate was missing from his locker, but he said he took it as a souvenir just in case.