TMZ Sports, citing league sources, is reporting that the NFL is suspending former Browns QB Johnny Manziel for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
- According to TMZ, the suspension wouldn’t roll over into 2017, which means he wouldn’t have to serve a suspension if he isn’t on an NFL roster for the first four games of the 2016 season.
- A league source tells Jeremy Fowler that Manziel is still subject to the personal conduct policy if he ever signs with another team, which means he could have additional punishment upon returning to the league.
- Mike Garafolo mentions that Manziel is considered “radioactive” to NFL teams right now.
- Mike Florio points out that the Browns could avoid the $2.173 million in guaranteed money Manziel is still owed following his suspension.
Manziel is currently without a team and a return to the NFL seems like a long shot at best at this point in time. However, he has said recently that he plans to get sober in the coming weeks and focus on football again.
“I do believe he’s serious,” the source told Fowler. “He’s talked for a while about knuckling down, getting ready and working out. It’s more about health and having options and feeling good. If that works out for this season, great. But if not, that’s OK too.”
Fowler’s source wasn’t sure if Manziel would need to go to rehab.
Last week, Manziel’s father, Paul, called him a “druggie” and even said it could be in his best interest to end up in jail.
“It’s not a secret that he’s a druggie,” Paul Manziel said of his son. “I don’t know what to say, other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn’t [sought] it yet. Hopefully he doesn’t die before he comes to his senses. That’s about all you can say. I don’t know what else to say.”
Of course, Manziel has issues beyond just getting sober and a looming suspension in the NFL, as he’s current in the midst of a domestic violence case.
Manziel, 23, Manziel, 23, is a former first-round pick of the Browns back in 2014. He was in the second year of his four-year, $8,247,250 rookie contract when the Browns cut him loose at the start of the 2016 league year.
Manziel wound up clearing waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent.
In 2015, 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.