BEREA, Ohio– He came as a shot of adrenaline for the Browns and for the city of Cleveland.
But all we heard about were shots of booze, bottles of champagne and late-night party binges posted on social media for the world to see.
It’s clear to all: The Johnny Manziel Big Top Experience exacted a toll on his team, his teammates and the legion of Browns faithful who took up sides on the question of the former Heisman winner’s true worth to the franchise.
Browns Vice President Sashi Brown said in a Tuesday release what most everyone was thinking, but did not want to come out and say.
“Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization.”
There were many other instances when such a statement could have been rolled out for the media and fans, but the team had money invested in Manziel. Most likely, behind closed doors, debates raged about his value.
Former head coach Mike Pettine knew he wasn’t ready and made sure Manziel earned playing time, but that process had to be exhausting. In the end, Manziel Mania contributed to Pettine’s departure.
Manziel is not the only NFL player to like a good time. But with red flags hoisted during his college days about his partying ways, the Browns had every chance to not bring him here. They have no one to blame but themselves.
Maybe one day Johnny will “get it” and mature. I hope, for his sake, he cleans up his act. But I believe most will agree, the floundering Cleveland Browns do not need such a circus as they try to improve their fortunes.