5 Teams That Could Take a Chance on Johnny Manziel
The Johnny Manziel era has come to an end in Cleveland, with the Browns officially releasing the man they call Johnny Football on Friday afternoon.
After a variety of off field incidents ranging from abrasive party videos to a potential domestic abuse case that is still ongoing, Manziel had been a problem for the Browns, while exhibiting only flashes of quality play at the quarterback position.
At just 23 year sold, the once promising Texas A&M alum is now on shaky ground with the league and suddenly finds himself without an NFL franchise backing him. As dreary as his playing career looks at the moment, Manziel is still young and could resurrect his image if he can get his life on track.
Of course, that begs the question; if he gets his life in order, who would be willing to take a chance on him?
Manziel certainly has talent and upside to his game, and in a league that is known for second and even third chances, Johnny Football very well could get one more crack at being a franchise quarterback. He might be off limits for now (at least until his domestic violence case is resolved), but in due time he could find himself being courted by multiple teams.
At least three teams were reportedly interested in touching base with the Browns at one time about a prospective trade, and by the time everything gets worked out, more could come calling. We thought of five that could be realistic landing spots for as early as 2016 or down the road:
Mile High Johnny
Peyton Manning just retired and Brock Osweiler opted to start over with the Houston Texans, leaving the Denver Broncos without a quarterback heading into 2016.
Denver did just trade for Mark Sanchez to be their top backup and there are rumors involving guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Colin Kaepernick, but what if Denver swings and misses on both?
That could leave Manziel in their sights, who is held in high regard by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, who already said it wouldn’t be that crazy for Johnny Football to end up in Colorado.
There’s probably nothing worse than the bright lights of New York for Manziel, who very well may be an addict, but the Jets do need a quarterback.
New York still seems to want to bring Ryan Fitzpatrick back, but they’re been toying with different ideas, such as giving Geno Smith another shot, signing RG3 or even trading for Colin Kaepernick. Why not throw Manziel into the mix, as his athleticism and freelancing ability could work beautifully in offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s system.
Okay, so landing with the Los Angeles Rams could be worse than NYC, but either way Manziel would be on a platform he would love and potentially even thrive in. It could also be a total disaster.
Even so, the Rams do not have a quarterback right now with just Chase Keenum and Nick Foles to work with, so they don’t have much to lose by bringing on Manziel and at least letting him compete. The Rams just moved from St. Louis, after all, and bringing in a massive star like Johnny Football surely wouldn’t hurt ticket sales.
The most obvious theory connects the dots rather easily, as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has had an intense interest in Johnny Manziel ever since he left College Station. The wiser talking heads in Big D strongly urged Jones to resist the temptation of drafting Manziel two years ago, however, and so far they’ve looked pretty smart.
Returning home could be just what Manziel needs, however, as he’d be playing for the team he loves and could have a better support system around close family and friends. Dallas has gone out publicly and said they want nothing to do with Manziel at the moment, however, at least until he can get his personal matters in order.
Second Time is the Charm
Another landing spot could be with the San Francisco 49ers, where Manziel could reunite with Chip Kelly, who originally tried to get him to play for Oregon. Manziel turned Kelly down after Texas A&M offered him a scholarship, but if Kelly wants Manziel this time again, Manziel may have to jump at the opportunity to play in a system that will play to his strengths.
There is no denying San Francisco could use the change at quarterback, as Colin Kaepernick has publicly asked for a trade and going into 2016 with Blaine Gabbert under center is a little less than imposing to opposing defenses.
It’s quite possible Manziel’s NFL career ended on Friday afternoon. His party boy ways and domestic violence case certainly mark him as a huge red flag and if he can’t get out of his own way soon, a promising talent could be lost for forever.
That being said, Manziel won the Heisman and was a first round draft pick for good reason and in the right situation, his career could still be salvaged. Odds are it’s one of the five aforementioned spots, but for a guy that is currently toxic, it’s truly anyone’s guess what happens next.
Have a good idea as to what happens with Manziel going forward? Let us know in the comments below!
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