After Manziel no-shows, Browns owner hints at team's No. 2 draft pick
Owner Jimmy Haslam had a busy Sunday. After his Browns lost to the Steelers, Haslam fired GM Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine. Johnny Manziel may not be long for Cleveland either.
Owner Jimmy Haslam had a busy Sunday. After his Browns lost to the Steelers, Haslam fired general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine. Neither move was a surprise, and now Haslam has a bigger issue looming: What to do with Johnny Manziel, the second-year quarterback the team traded up for in the 2014 NFL Draft to select in the first round over Teddy Bridgewater.
At least one report says Manziel's days in Cleveland are numbered and Haslam was asked specifically about this possibility on Sunday.
"It will be up to the coaches, and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi (Brown) and the GM as to who's on the team,'' the owner said, via Cleveland.com. "They will make those calls.''
Earlier in the day, veteran left tackle Joe Thomas, who hasn't missed a game since coming into the league in 2007, didn't mince words when talking about reports that Manziel, who had been ruled out for the season finale with a concussion, was at a Las Vegas casino on Saturday.
"If that's a true report that's obvious for him some things are more important than football and being a starting quarterback and that's something that probably needs to be addressed in the offseason,'' Thomas said.
Haslam referenced Thomas' words when talking about Manziel later in the day.
"I don't think there is anything that compares to it in professional sports in terms of importance to a team,'' he said. "Joe has been around the game. He's smart. He's exactly right.''
The owner added, "We do have the second pick in the draft," presumably alluding to the possibility of the Browns searching for their next franchise quarterback with the selection.
Shortly after Sunday's loss to the Steelers, Pettine, who still had a job at the time, said he had no idea if Manziel was in Vegas, and Haslam later confirmed as much -- though he noted that the quarterback never showed up for concussion treatment at the team's Berea facility on Sunday.
"It is my understanding that [Manziel] was not there this morning,'' Haslam said.
Meanwhile, Pettine also denied that Manziel was sent home from a quarterbacks meeting during the week because he was inebriated.
If Manziel and the Browns end up going their separate ways, don't be surprised if the Cowboys are in the mix to sign him.
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