ESPN’s Chris Mortensen mentioned during an appearance on the Mike & Mike radio show earlier in the week that the Browns are about “90 percent” done with Johnny Manziel as their quarterback.
“I think about 90 percent that they have moved on [from Manziel] in their own minds except that they really don’t know who they’re going to get when Johnny leaves rehab, which has been an extended stay — a two-month stay,” said Mortensen, via DawgsByNature.com. “He should be getting out sometime in the first week of April if they’re satisfied that he’s ready to go out and get into society and that whatever deep-rooted problems that he had has been addressed. OK, now he’s part of your depth chart. You have Josh McCown.”
Even after signing veteran QB Josh McCown to a three-year, $14 million contract that included $6.25 million guaranteed, reports have said that Cleveland could still consider the idea of possibly trading up for Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
While it’s unlikely that Manziel would be released in 2015, Cleveland could begin the process of moving on and looking for a different long-time solution while going with McCown as their starter for the time being.
Manziel checked himself into a rehab back in January, but is expected to leave the treatment facility at some point in the near future.
Browns coach Mike Pettine mentioned that they expect Manziel to participate in their offseason program once he’s finished up his treatment.
“When he is back, it will be full speed ahead for him,” Pettine said, via the Associated Press. “I think he’s very anxious at this point.”
Manziel, 22, is entering the second year of his four-year, $8,247,250 rookie contract that included $6,702,625 guaranteed. He stands to make base salaries of $794,936 (2015), $1,169,872 (2016), and $1,294,808 (2017) over the remainder of the contract.
It’s worth mentioning that the Browns used the first-round pick they got in return for Trent Richardson on Manziel.
Last year, Manziel appeared in five games for the Browns and threw for 175 yards while completing 51.4 percent of his passes to go along with no passing touchdowns and two interceptions. He also added 29 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown.