SUNDAY, 7:30pm: It’s going to be a busy week for Manziel. McManamon reports that the quarterback is likely to start next weekend’s game for the Browns, and that will come after a scheduled interview with the NFL regarding the mid-October incident.
Manziel played briefly during Cleveland’s loss to the Rams today, passing for 27 yards. Starter Josh McCown left the contest with an injured right shoulder, and he was also checked for a concussion following the game.
While Manziel wouldn’t confirm whether the meeting will take place, he did say he’d cooperate with any investigation.
“If anybody reaches out to me, if the NFL does reach out to me, I’ll fully cooperate with anything that they ask me,” he said. “Anything they need from me, I’m not shying away from that. I cooperated fully with Avon. I cooperated fully with everybody in the Browns and anybody that’s asked me anything.
“It’s an ongoing situation, and I don’t really want to speak on it much more than that. If the situation does arise I’ll fully cooperate. That’s really it.”
Manziel also had a message for the Browns fanbase.
“I hope people haven’t given up on me,” Manziel said. “I know I’m trying to do the right things on the field. Just trying to keep my head down and just keep plugging and keep pushing and keep trying to gain, back, really, what I felt I lost last year in a rough rookie season.”
SATURDAY, 9:35am: While the NFL continues to investigate the recent Johnny Manziel incident, Pat McManamon of ESPN.com says the league could still punish the sophomore quarterback before the “probe is complete.” The NFL could cite the league’s personal conduct policy, which allows commissioner Roger Goodell to place Manziel on paid leave if he believes the former first-rounder was in violation of league rules.
“If an investigation leads the Commissioner to believe that you may have violated this Policy by committing any of the conduct identified above, he may act where the circumstances and evidence warrant doing so,” the NFL personal conduct policy states (via McManamon). “This decision will not reflect a finding of guilt or innocence and will not be guided by the same legal standards and considerations that would apply in a criminal trial.”
As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes, the league hasn’t hesitated from handing out these “paid vacations” in the past, but it’s still uncertain whether they’ll punish Manziel. Overall, the writer would be surprised if the quarterback was placed on paid leave.