Even if they wanted to suspend Johnny Manziel for his involvement in a recent off-field incident, the Browns wouldn’t be able to do so, GM Ray Farmer told reporters, including ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon. The Browns’ only option, under the NFL’s rules, was to make Manziel inactive for this past Sunday’s game against the Rams, the GM said.
Only the NFL has the authority to discipline the quarterback, because potential personal conduct policy violations fall under the umbrella of the league, not the team — Manziel was involved in an argument with his girlfriend and there may have been fisticuffs between the two.
Here’s more on Manziel, along with some other Browns-related items:
- The NFL hopes to have its Manziel investigation wrapped up by the end of the week, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Presumably, a decision on whether or not the signal-caller will be disciplined will be announced shortly after the investigation concludes.
- Manziel’s meeting with the league is imminent and “there’s a sense of urgency to it,” per head coach Mike Pettine (link via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). It makes sense that Pettine would want things wrapped up as soon as possible, since the team needs some clarity on its quarterback situation for Week 8 — Josh McCown is banged up, and while he may be able to play, the team would need to add an insurance quarterback if Manziel receives a suspension from the NFL.
- With a game against the Cardinals on tap this weekend for the Browns, Cabot notes (via Twitter) that the Browns could have signed running back Chris Johnson when Duke Johnson was injured in camp. However, the Browns instead discussed signing Ray Rice at the time, and ended up passing on both Rice and Chris Johnson, who is now second in the league in rushing yards.
- The upcoming game against Arizona also resulted in Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians speaking to Browns reporters today, including Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. The former Cleveland offensive coordinator admitted he thought he might get a chance to return to the Browns as their head coach in 2009, but the club quickly hired Eric Mangini instead. “I always thought if you could build a winner in Cleveland how special that would be,” Arians said of the missed opportunity.