4:51pm: The Browns will cut Manziel sometime this week, Kinkhabwala reports (on Twitter).
4:21pm: It was widely reported over the last several weeks that the Browns would cut quarterback Johnny Manziel today – the first day of the league year – but that will not happen (yet), according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter link). Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com wonders (on Twitter) if the Browns are holding off on releasing Manziel in hopes of a quarterback-needy team trading a late-round pick for him within the next couple days.
Notably, if the Browns release Manziel before June 1, they’ll incur upward of $2.8MM in dead money. On the other hand, if they designate him a post-June 1 cut, they’ll rid themselves of any dead money responsibility. Further, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter pointed out earlier this week (via Cork Gaines of Business Insider), the Browns will be in posiiton to recoup some of Manziel’s bonus money if the NFL goes the likely route and suspends him for his off-field behavior. Thus, the Browns have clear incentive to keep Manziel until June 1 at the latest. He certainly won’t return to Cleveland for a third season.
Since the Browns drafted the former Texas A&M star in the 2014 first round, he has appeared in 15 games, made eight starts, and tossed seven touchdowns and seven picks. Manziel showed progress in parts of his six starts last season, but his off-field issues overshadowed his positive steps on the gridiron and have carried into the offseason. The Dallas County District Attorney’s office is currently investigating the 23-year-old over a Jan. 30 altercation with ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley, who alleges that Manziel assaulted her and ruptured her eardrum.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.