The Cleveland Browns have been a deathbed for quarterbacks, and Johnny Manziel is the latest to see his career take a detour there.
On Friday, the Browns waived Manziel, a move everyone saw coming; this, after spending the 22nd-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on the quarterback. It's rare you see any first-round pick cut after the just two years, let alone someone who plays the all-important quarterback position.
But, Manziel left Cleveland with really no option with his frequent off-field issues that may lead to him being suspended for a significant amount of games in the 2016 season. This move comes as no surprise after Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown suggested earlier this offseason that the team would cut Manziel.
And it's not like Manziel lit it up on the field either. In 14 career NFL games (8 starts), Manziel completed 147 of 258 passes (57%) for 1,675 yards (6.57 avg.) with seven touchdowns vs seven interceptions and 22 sacks taken. He also rushed 46 times for 259 yards (5.6 avg.) with one score and seven fumbles (3 lost).
To be fair, Manziel played in an offense that was hot garbage with Josh Gordon suspended much of the past two years, no consistent running back, an average offensive line and no reliable pass-catcher, not to mention two different offensive coordinators in his two years.
The move leaves the Browns with three quarterbacks on their roster, veteran Josh McCown, Austin Davis and Connor Shaw. The Browns are reportedly chasing after Colin Kaepernick and if they don't get him, they could select another quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Bengals know Manziel very well and helped ensure his career began with a thud. It came in Week 15 of the 2014 season as Manziel made his first NFL start vs Cincinnati. It was a disastrous game for Manziel, who completed just 10 of 18 passes (55.6-percent) for 80 yards with two interceptions while taking three sacks and rushing for just 13 yards on five carries.
In two starts and five total games of action as a rookie, Manziel completed 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards with two picks and no scores while being sacked three times. This past season, Manziel completed just 129 of 223 passes (57.8%) for 1,500 yards and seven scores vs five picks and six fumbles. He rushed for 230 yards on 37 carries with no scores.
Manziel came out of Texas A&M as a gunslinger who took a lot of chances in college that he often got away with against college defensive backs, but many of those plays turned into incompletions and interceptions at the NFL level.
Still, he brought hope to a franchise that has essentially embraced losing since the Browns returned to Cleveland as an expansion team in 1999. That hope has long since perished, and Manziel's career may have, too.
In honor of Johnny Manziel reportedly being waived today: pic.twitter.com/tI3G9h89BN— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) March 11, 2016