Here's a sobering fact: The last quarterback to win a game for the Cleveland Browns? Johnny Manziel, the 2014 first-round pick who was cut in the offseason, was under center when the Browns beat the 49ers on Dec. 13, 2015. In the 51 weeks since: 15 straight regular-season losses.
Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner, was the latest in a long line of potential franchise quarterbacks to fail in Cleveland, and perhaps that reality has everything to do with his thoughts on Lamar Jackson, the Louisville quarterback and presumptive 2016 Heisman Trophy winner.
TMZ caught up with Manziel recently and a conversation that began with Cam Newton and dress codes, concluded with Manziel being asked, "What if Lamar goes to Cleveland, Johnny?"
The response, which you can see at the 35-second mark below, is priceless. Pay special attention to the vigorous finger-wagging.
Manziel, who was sitting in an SUV with the windows rolled up when the question was asked, was so flustered that he rolled down the window to make himself clear.
"Lamar's gonna go somewhere else," he said, laughing (perhaps to keep from crying).
"I doubt that'll happen," he said at the time, adding, "I wish them the best."
On Thursday, the Browns announced that Griffin will return to the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, whatever fate awaits Jackson, he won't be going to the Browns anytime soon. Yes, he looks like a first-overall pick, and yes, the Browns are well on their way to securing that pick, but Jackson won't be eligible for the NFL Draft until 2018. That said, the 2017 crop of draft-eligible quarterbacks isn't considered particularly strong, so perhaps the Browns are willing to extend their rebuilding efforts for another season. (Seriously, what's the worst that can happen -- for the Browns, not Jackson?)
Jackson was named a Heisman finalist earlier this week. He led Louisville to a 9-3 record, and threw for 3,390 yards and 31 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,538 yards and another 20 scores.
The only other college players to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and run for 20 more? Cam Newton and Tim Tebow.
Jackson was also named ACC Player of the Year and ACC Offensive Player of the Year.