Although Hue Jackson‘s recent comments have seemingly indicated a preference the Browns move on from Johnny Manziel, Jimmy Haslam knows the sides can mend their damaged relationship, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
The Browns’ owner admitted both his regime and the team’s previous power structure have made critical misjudgments in the draft, he does not like the idea of moving on from a No. 1 pick that’s contributed so little to the franchise.
“Oh, yeah, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Haslam told media about being able to go forward with Manziel. “We talked to Johnny before he left [for the offseason]. I know a big deal was made that Hue hasn’t called Johnny yet. Well, we’ve got 53 players on the active [roster] and 10 more [on reserve/futures deals], and there were a couple of other real prominent players that he just talked to in the last day or two. So I’m sure he’ll get around to talking to him.”
Jackson hasn’t sounded too optimistic regarding Manziel, who entered rehab but endured several alcohol-related slip-ups during the season, with the new Cleveland coach saying Manziel’s alleged secret excursion to Las Vegas while in concussion protocol would have been a “non-starter” under his watch. In between, the 23-year-old Manziel started six games and completed 57% of his passes, throwing for seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
Here’s some more Browns- and AFC-related news.
- Haslam said there is no awkwardness between him and newly rehired DC Ray Horton, Ulrich tweets. The owner told media, including Ulrich, Horton did a good job as the Browns’ DC in his one-and-done stint in 2013. The Browns ranked ninth defensively under Horton that season. The Browns ranked 27th in 2015 and 23rd in 2014 in total defense.
- Should the Browns select Carson Wentz with their No. 2 overall pick, “they’ll be set for 15 years,” an NFL personnel man whose team does not need a quarterback told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s the best quarterback in the draft. If I were picking at No. 2, I’d take him. It will solve all of their problems and they’d get that team turned around,” the personnel man said. Sources told Cabot the Browns’ interest in Wentz is real, and although most mock drafts don’t have the North Dakota State fifth-year senior going off the board that soon, Jackson has experience coaching a Division I-FCS first-rounder. He helped guide Joe Flacco, chosen out of Delaware in 2008, previously.
- New Dolphins DC Vance Joseph will allow Ndamukong Suh to provide input, and the new coach is trying to forge a relationship with the league’s highest-paid defender, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Suh, per a teammate, did not have much use for since-fired DC Kevin Coyle. Suh’s requested input regarding the Dolphins’ scheme, and Joseph said he’d listen.
- Miami’s also open to giving former top-five pick Dion Jordan another chance despite his rampant trouble with the league, Jackson reports. Jordan hasn’t played since participating in 10 games in 2014. The league suspended the former No. 3 overall pick for the entire 2015 season for violations of its substance-abuse policy. The Dolphins would allow a potential Jordan return to the team, providing he’s clean and if the league reinstates him in April, Jackson writes.
- With Raiders owner Mark Davis‘ planned trip to Las Vegas on Friday to possibly discuss the Raiders playing in a planned $1 billion domed stadium representing Thursday’s biggest news, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk cautions fans to slow down on any Las Vegas Raiders-themed discussions. Using Tony Romo‘s cancelled fantasy football convention at a Las Vegas Sands-owned, non-gambling facility last summer as an example, Florio does not believe the NFL will allow the Raiders to move to Vegas. The NFL previously said a Vegas-hosted Pro Bowl or merely a single game would not likely be sanctioned.
- The Chargers hired recently fired Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo as an offensive line assistant, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter). DeGuglielmo will work alongside Jeff Davidson with the Bolts’ linemen.
- Should Peyton Manning determine Super Bowl 50 isn’t his “last rodeo,” the Broncos would have a difficult choice on their hands, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com writes. Should Manning return, he’s due to occupy an untenable $21.5MM cap hold next season. If Manning helps Denver win the Super Bowl, John Elway could be faced with a choice akin to what Ted Thompson encountered in 2008, when Brett Favre‘s backtracking forced an awkward trade. But Aaron Rodgers being under contract and Brock Osweiler not differentiates the scenarios. Corry argues the cleanest solution, albeit one that would put Elway in a complicated spot in terms of PR, would be to release Manning, sign Osweiler to a long-term deal and free up $19MM in cap space. If Manning decided he wanted to play again despite this, Corry cites the Rams and Texans as teams that would fit the soon-to-be-40-year-old quarterback’s needs, with their strong defenses and warm-weather or climate-controlled settings.