Hue Jackson: Manziel in Vegas is a 'non-starter,' Browns need QB
Hue Jackson is the latest Browns coach, the eighth since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999. And like every one of his predecessors, Jackson is looking for a legit franchise QB.
Hue Jackson is the latest Browns coach, the eighth since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999. And like every one of his predecessors, Jackson is looking for a legit franchise quarterback. That conversation starts with Johnny Manziel, the 2014 first-round pick, though it could be a short one.
Jackson reportedly took the job with the understanding that he could dump Manziel if he deemed fit, and it's a reasonable expectation given how poorly Manziel has handled his first two seasons in the NFL. The latest: after being ruled out with a concussion days before the regular-season finale, Manziel was reportedly spotted in a Las Vegas casino -- wearing a wig, mustached and sunglasses, no less -- hours before the Browns faced the Steelers. He didn't show for his concussion treatment, and team officials admitted they weren't sure where Manziel was during the game.
During a radio interview on Sunday, Jackson was asked if Manziel being in Vegas during the team's final game would be a "non-starter" for him.
"Yes, it would be (a non-starter),'' Jackson told Bleacher Report radio, via Cleveland.com. "Anytime things are not done the correct way with any player at any position, it would be a non-starter with me.''
Jackson also made it clear that the Browns franchise QB might not currently be on the roster.
"If there is a quarterback there at pick No. 2 or pick No. 32 that we feel is the best option, the best fit for our organization, for our football team, then we need to go get him,'' he said. "I do believe that this team does need a quarterback.''
That's an explicit indictment of Manziel, whom the Browns drafted after spending $100,000 on a study that told them Teddy Bridgewater would be a better NFL quarterback.
"I think what we need to do is look to the future and find what we think is going to be the best fit for us and go from there,'' Jackson said.
Meanwhile, Manziel's future remains hazy. He's clearly done in Cleveland, but it's not clear there will be other teams interested in him. Jerry Jones is an obvious choice -- and the Cowboys owner and general manager hasn't hidden the fact that he's infatuated with Manziel -- but the rest of the front office could keep Jones in line. (It happened during the 2014 draft, when Jones wanted Manziel and everyone else wanted Zack Martin, who has been a mainstay on the offensive line the last two seasons.)
Wherever Manziel ends up in 2016, Jackson and the Browns will be looking to add another name to the saddest list you've ever seen.
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