Joe Thomas concedes the Browns are going to move on from Johnny Manziel, calling the 23-year-old quarterback’s latest drama “a sad ending to the story,” Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets.
A six-time first-team All-Pro, Thomas said Manziel complained about concussion symptoms on Wednesday before Week 17 and didn’t see him at the Browns’ facility again, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets. Thomas, however, tells reporters (including Cabot, via Twitter) he did not see Manziel the morning he was diagnosed with a concussion and only heard about the then-second-year signal-caller complaining about concussion-related symptoms.
Recent conflicting reports emerged on the nature of Manziel’s absence that week, with alcohol potentially residing at the root of his concussion diagnosis.
Manziel, seen in Las Vegas that weekend and absent from a concussion protocol-mandated check-in, started eight games in Cleveland in two seasons and finished with a 57.8 completion percentage in 2015. “It didn’t work out for Manziel in Cleveland for a lot of reasons. Hopefully he’ll get his life on track and be able to use talents,” Thomas told media, including Ulrich (Twitter link).
Manziel is under investigation by Dallas police for alleged domestic violence of his ex-girlfriend Jan. 30.
Thomas sees the Browns “probably” using their No. 2 overall pick on a quarterback, per Cabot (on Twitter). The 10th-year left tackle added (via Ulrich, on Twitter) the Browns have a bright future, as long as they “pick the right QB.”
Both Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown informed the 31-year-old Thomas he remains a key part of Cleveland’s future and the team’s new power structure doesn’t want to trade him. Thomas told media (via Cabot, on Twitter) he doesn’t think the Browns entertained the notion of trading him until the Broncos called at the trade deadline.
Jackson and Thomas met at Super Bowl 50, with Cleveland’s longtime left-edge protector telling Ulrich (on Twitter) the new Browns coach was the “No. 1 guy” he preferred in the team’s latest coaching search and that he’s “all in” (Twitter link) despite the team discussing him a trade last season.
Thomas would prefer the Browns retain free agent linemen Mitchell Schwartz and Alex Mack, calling them the best right tackle and center in the NFL, respectively, but knows such moves may not occur (Twitter link). Schwartz is an unrestricted free agent, and Mack can opt out of his Jaguars-created contract.
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