5 Reasons Why Johnny Manziel Could Be Headed to Broncos
Johnny Manziel is back in the headlines, with recent reports suggesting Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak reached out to the former Texas A&M alum about being a “fit” down the road with the team.
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) April 7, 2016
Conflicting reports suggest Kubiak’s contact with Johnny Football is more geared towards his off field behavior, but the connection is hard to bypass so quickly.
Mike Klis of 9News is one insider who doesn’t think anything will come of the news, and reported that Denver does not intend to sign Manziel anytime soon.
Broncos won’t sign Johnny Manziel
(Sent from 9NEWS) https://t.co/sgsETPRY6w
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) April 7, 2016
But that doesn’t mean they won’t, as there is still plenty of logic to support a Manziel and Denver union.
Let’s take a look at five reasons why it could happen:
Denver Needs a Quarterback
Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler bolted for Houston. Denver is left with Mark Sanchez and a third-stringer who should never see the field. They’ve already been linked to the likes of RG3 and Ryan Fitzpatrick and for the past month have been tightly tied in trade rumors to Colin Kaepernick.
RG3 signed with the Browns (irony!), Fitzmagic wants too much money and Kaepernick won’t cut down his money to facilitate a trade. If Kaepernick is to stay in the Bay Area, Denver is looking at either Sanchez or a rookie quarterback as their 2016 starter under center.
That’s not good.
Manziel surely brings baggage via partying, immaturity and pending legal issues, but he also adds value. He was a first round pick two years ago for a reason. He’s small in stature and fairly unproven, but he also had displayed a knack for the big play, can use his athleticism at this level and also exhibits toughness on the field.
Manziel Can Fit the System
The other key aspect is the argument that Manziel isn’t a fit for what Denver does, but that’s a lazy assumption. For one, Manziel doesn’t lack intelligence when it comes to football and though it took him a while to transition from a stripped down college playbook to the NFL world, he looked much more in control and comfortable in 2015, as opposed to his rookie season.
There were suggestions he’d looked lost as a rookie – and he did – but all the chatter about him not being able to fit what Cleveland did, well, proved out to be just noise. Manziel wasn’t perfect and still lived by his rules on the field at times, but he was able to work from the pocket over time and run the Browns’ offense.
Gary Kubiak’s system doesn’t ask a lot out of the quarterback position. Denver just won a title on the legs of an average and inexperience young passer, as well as a washed up, aged veteran. Their elite defense is what got the job done and their methodical offense chipped in when it could.
With that defense and hopefully a refurbished rushing attack helping him out, Manziel could improve in year three and use his athleticism to execute Kubiak’s coined roll-outs to perfection.
Kubiak Reached Out
It’s silly to think that Colin Kaepernick or RG3 would be perfect fits for Denver, but Manziel wouldn’t be. They all play similar styles, yet it’s highly debatable based off of his college performance that Manziel is a better passer from inside the pocket than either of them.
Kubiak also personally reached out to Manziel, establishing some form of connection that could lead to a signing down the road.
Is Manziel a perfect fit? Is he going to get suspended or even go to jail? Is he worth the risk? No one can know and those questions exist for a reason, but Kubiak reaching out to Manziel tells you one thing pretty clearly: Denver is covering all the bases.
The Broncos might not sign Manziel in the end, but to say they absolutely won’t would be silly at this point, as they’ve already established a connection and it’s only April. Should Manziel avoid any serious legal issues or a suspension, this seemingly meaningless encounter could end up being the flint that starts the flame.
Von Miller Vouched For Him
Kubiak isn’t the only guy in Denver who might be willing to vouch for Manziel. Star pass rusher and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller is down for bringing Manziel to Colorado, too.
Miller has been extremely public, both about his support for Manziel as a former Aggie, and also tossed the idea out there that we could “see Manziel in Denver”. Crazier things have happened, and with Manziel still looking for work, and the Broncos needing help under center, it surely wouldn’t hurt to have an impact star player in his corner.
All of the Upside
Manziel has baggage, but he’s still just 23 years old and still has loads of talent and upside to tap into. You can break his game down for days, but what people may be failing to realize is he showed vast improvement last season and did so without any serious star offensive talent in Cleveland.
Jordan Cameron fled for South Beach, Josh Gordon was suspended all year and Dwayne Bowe was a free agent bust. Despite that, Manziel put up over 370 passing yards on the Steelers, connected on three deep balls with Travis Benjamin and looked competent against strong Chiefs and Seahawks defense.
He did all this despite being yanked in and our of the starting gig and never truly having a firm backing from his coaching staff.
Manziel may not be a total fit for the Broncos, but he definitely was never a fit for Cleveland. It’s awfully hard to be the answer, after all, when your own franchise doesn’t even seem to want you to be.
There is no doubt that Manziel leads a questionable lifestyle and that he probably needs to change his ways if he wants any prolonged success in the NFL. Landing in Denver with a winning organization and some key figures that have his back may be the best possible solution for him, however. Now it’s up to him to clean up his act and Denver to pull the trigger. If it happens, it just might end up being one of the best football stories we’ve seen in a while.
What do you think will happen with Manziel? Will the Broncos pick him up, someone else, or is his career already over? Tell us in the comments below!
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