CLEVELAND — The Browns have quarterback Johnny Manziel one foot out the door.
The team issued a strong statement Tuesday, condemning Manziel’s actions and pointing to the club releasing him in March.
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Manziel’s off-the-field issues have been a problem almost from the day Cleveland drafted the Heisman Trophy winner in the first round in 2014. Last weekend, he was involved in a disturbance with his ex-girlfriend in Dallas that is being investigated by police and the NFL.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field,” said Sashi Brown, the team’s vice president of football operations. “Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.”
The Browns can release Manziel as early as Monday, the day after the Super Bowl. But salary cap implications point to the move happening March 9, when the league’s new year begins.
Manziel made strides on the field during his second season, but persists in finding trouble off it.
The league cleared Manziel of wrongdoing following a fight with his girlfriend in October. Manziel spent more than 70 days in rehab last winter. He ended this season by missing a medical treatment at the team’s complex while his teammates were playing their home finale against Pittsburgh.
He’s made eight starts in two seasons, going 2-6 with 1,675 yards passing, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.