The Cleveland Browns announced Tuesday that they’ve benched Johnny Manziel and will instead be starting Josh McCown in Week 12 against the Ravens.
Pettine released the following statement regarding the move:
Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens. I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.
Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward.
It gets worse for Manziel, as the team announced that he will now be their No. 3 quarterback behind Austin Davis.
Earlier in the day, Pettine told reporters that he’s seen the video that shows Manziel at a party in Austin, Tex, and they were in the process of gathering info regarding the situation.
Mary Kay Cabot mentioned that Pettine appeared to be considering benching Manziel, so indications were that this move could be coming.
Manziel previously indicated that this could be an old video, but didn’t offer much beyond that.
“You know there’s all kinds of people that come out,” Manziel said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Videos can be old. Videos can be all kinds of different things. So like I said, I’m not in a state to be able to speak on it because my focus has been on this today and what really matters in this game on Monday. So that’s where my focus has been. I did get a chance to relax. So I haven’t seen anything like that, and I’m not going to be able to speculate on it right now.”
Manziel, 22, 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 has appeared in six games and thrown for 933 yards while completing 59.4 percent of his passes to go along with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Manziel has also ran for 90 yards.