A week after it was announced that Johnny Manziel would be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine did an 180-degree turn and has benched the troubled star, demoting him to the third string.
Based on a story that appears on NFL.com, Pettine made the decision because, “Trust was broken after a series of photos and videos showing Manziel allegedly partying during the team's bye week surfaced over the weekend.”
This means unless there is a major turn of events, Manziel probably will not play again this season, but Pettine has stressed that his future as a quarterback in Cleveland isn't over.
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One has to wonder how many chances Manziel is going to get with the franchise that drafted him last season or any other team that may take a look at him, should the Browns give up on him and release him.
The story also said Pettine shared that Manziel was "disappointed" by his benching, saying: "He's competitive. He wants to be out there."
It may not be Manziel’s work on the field as much as the extracurricular activities off the field that is hurting him. He looked adequate in the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football last week.
Manziel is another one in a line of quarterbacks who have not panned out in Cleveland. A controversial pick to begin with, he lasted until the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and played sparingly last season behind Brian Hoyer. The Browns posted a 7-9 record last season.
Manziel’s performance and his off-field antics have been directly connected to both Pettine and team general manager Ray Farmer – both of whom are under fire for the team’s performance and the decision-making within the organization. Should Pettine and Farmer get released by team ownership at the end of the season, Manziel himself may be released or traded as well.
Ironically, Manziel is not the only quarterback chosen with the 22nd pick in the draft by Cleveland who has failed in the NFL. Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden were both taken with the pick and have had nominal success. Weeden was just released by the Dallas Cowboys and Quinn is out of football.