This is an excellent breakdown of life in Cleveland for one Johnny Manziel — but I still can’t figure if the Heisman Trophy winner is really finished in the NFL, or if the Browns really will lead players to drink?
According to The MMQB — which spoke to people in Johnny’s life and those who came across him in Cleveland — the quarterback stopped listening to LeBron James, irked teammates with dreams of being in Dallas and according to Emily Kaplan — would sleep off benders in the training room.
“When he had LeBron James as a mentor, texting him all the time, hanging out at his house watching football, and Johnny didn’t listen to his advice? That’s when I knew he had a problem,” one of Manziel’s former coaches said.
On an especially cool afternoon, he remarked: “I bet it’s nice in Dallas right now.” That irked many in the organization, including some teammates, though he was never unpopular in the locker room. Far from it. Many players seemed to gravitate towards Manziel because he was charming and cool. Manziel is loyal, picking up the tab anytime a friend visited Cleveland, buying friends Rolex watches “just because” or taking time to engage in conversation with a teammate’s or coach’s kids who were fans. If he didn’t like someone, he let it be known.
The straw that broke the camels back was of course the alleged domestic violence and Manziel’s penchant for “sleeping off hangovers” in the Browns training room.
Manziel would fly to Austin, where he partied for two straight nights. A DJ captured him on video, which surfaced weeks later.
“The moment he saw that video on Twitter,” a friend says, “His reaction was literally, ‘F—!’ He knew he screwed up. He knew he shouldn’t have done that.” But even before that week, Manziel’s tenure in Cleveland was already doomed.
Manziel believed the starting job was his. But when he arrived at the team facility on Wednesday, McCown had cleared concussion protocol, and Pettine issued unwavering support for the 14-year journeyman. According to sources, Manziel was incredulous.
He wanted to party again, so he did, often showing up late to the facility for meetings and, according to a Browns source, sometimes sleeping off hangovers in the back of equipment rooms.
Manziel’s domestic violence case was sent to a grand jury, and he’s being investigated by the NFL, which could suspend him for his actions. I’m not blaming the Browns, but dysfunction (Manziel) piled on top of dysfunction (Cleveland Browns) leads to disaster.
Manziel’s not the most stand-up guy in the NFL — not by a long-shot, but the Browns not being straight up with the quarterback at times led to Johnny acting out.