Schefter’s source added: “Manziel looked terrible. He wasn’t drunk, but he was heavily hung over on something. There was something going on there.”
Mike Silver of NFL.com first reported that Manziel showed up drunk at practice this season and the team tried to cover it up by saying he was in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
However, the Browns quickly refuted this report in a statement.
“Johnny Manziel came to our facility on the morning of December 30th and complained of concussion symptoms,” a statement released by the team said. “He was tested by an independent neurologist and entered the league’s concussion protocol. He remained in the protocol until January 12th after being cleared by the independent neurologist.”
Silver later mentioned that he regrets his choice of words, but stands by his report that Manziel was drunk.
“I am not a doctor and thus cannot presume to question the diagnosis of an independent neurologist or any medical professional,” Silver tweeted Tuesday. “I do not have direct knowledge of what Manziel may have told the doctor or doctors who evaluated him, or what might have been suggested. If the Browns say they did not lie about Manziel’s diagnosis, I will take them at their word, and I regret using that term (“lied”). I stand by my original report that Manziel showed up drunk at practice and that witnesses believed this was the cause of his “behavior. This will be my last comment on the subject, pending further reporting.”
Schefter source refuted the idea there was some kind of cover up by the Browns.
“This wasn’t some massive cover-up,” Schefter’s source explained. “What are you going to do? You have to put him in the protocol.
“… He was not drunk that day, but he was [recovering] from being on something. I don’t know what he was doing the night before, but something was wrong with him.”
On Friday, the Dallas police announced that they will investigate the domestic violence allegations against Manziel, despite releasing a statement the day before that said the case was closed.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media recently reported that the Browns will cut Manziel when the new league year begins on March 9.
The Browns have $20 million in cap space for 2015, which will be carried over to 2016. However, Manziel’s guarantees need space to be absorbed in 2015 and they currently have no cap space, which explains why they plan to wait for the new league year.
Manziel, 23, is in the second year of his four-year, $8,247,250 rookie contract that included $6,702,625 guaranteed. He’ll make a base salary of $794,936 this season and another $1,169,872 in 2016.
This season, Manziel appeared in nine games and thrown for 1,500 yards while completing 57.8 percent of his passes to go along with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Manziel has also ran for 230 yards. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 31 quarterback out of 36 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Manziel as the news is available.