The Cleveland Browns are widely expected to fold their cards on polarizing quarterback Johnny Manziel, but his looming freedom doesn’t ensure there will be a market for his services once the Browns do cut ties.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, it is still “not clear” if other NFL teams have any interest in acquiring Manziel. That includes the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, two teams operating in Manziel’s home state of Texas and who both have a need at quarterback.
“I’m not sure either of those teams are actually interested in Manziel, mainly because of his off-field behavior,” Rapoport said. “If he cleans it up, they could be. But at this point, I would not expect interest from either of those teams for Manziel, in his current state.”
The Browns issued a statement regarding Manziel on Tuesday, and Rapoport reported the team plans to release the former first-round pick on March 9, or the first day of the new league year. Cleveland first needs to create the space to absorb the 2016 cap penalty of cutting Manziel. The start of the new league year will bring the Browns roughly $20 million in cap space carried over from last season.
The Browns finally reached a tipping point on the former Heisman Trophy winner.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field,” Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown said in the statement. “Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Many other NFL teams could shy away from Manziel based on nothing more than his continuous off-the-field issues. He’s burned all his bridges in Cleveland, and as it stands now, franchises willing to give him a second chance could be in a short supply.