The Cleveland Browns new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is reportedly treating 2nd year quarterback Johnny Manziel as an afterthought as the 2015 season draws nearer, according to ESPN. The Browns signed 35-year-old free agent quarterback Josh McCown in the off season, and he’s expected to be the team’s starter this season unless the Browns trade for someone like quarterback Sam Bradford or use one or both of their two 1st round picks to select Marcus Mariota in the 2015 NFL draft.
DeFilippo is replacing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who moved on after the disastrous 2014 season.
“I think about 90 percent that they have moved on [from Manziel] in their own minds except that they really don’t know who they’re going to get when Johnny leaves rehab, which has been an extended stay — a two-month stay,” Mortensen said, via the News-Herald. “He should be getting out some time in the first week of April if they’re satisfied that he’s ready to go out and get into society and that whatever deep-rooted problems that he had has been addressed. The bottom line is that Johnny Manziel’s future with the Browns has been in question. When they were putting together half of a new offensive staff, Manziel’s name barely even came up in conversation.”
Unless Manziel really burns up the league during the Browns preseason games, it’s unlikely that he’ll be the starter this season. McCown is a flawed quarterback, to be sure, but he’s a solid player and he knows how to throw from the pocket. Manziel’s style of playing is self-defeating at times with the way he abandons the pocket without needing to. He turns almost every pass play into an improvised situation, and that doesn’t tend to work out too well in the NFL. For a quarterback to succeed in the NFL, they need to be able to complete the high percentage passes that are planned out by the coaching staff. That’s not a style that Manziel used while in college at Texas A&M.
Manziel would be a senior in college if he were still playing at A&M, as he only stayed in school through his sophomore season.
It’s not the end for Manziel in terms of him winning the starting job. He’s just going to need to prove himself to DeFilippo in order to become the No.1 quarterback on the team. It’s possible. He was the quarterback in the nation in 2012 and 2013 in college. If he can do that in college, then he can definitely win the starting job over an aging career backup like McCown.
If the Browns trade up to acquire Marcus Mariota in the draft, then you can figure that the team has hit the reset button on Manziel and given up on him. In that case the Browns will look to trade Manziel either before the start of this season or next season. What they don’t want is for Manziel to finish his four-year contract without them being able to trade him and get some kind of pick for him. They need to get value for him.