Report: Johnny Manziel Divides Cleveland Browns’ Front Office And Mike Pettine


As Johnny Manziel continues to ride the Cleveland Browns’ bench, the Dawg Pound may be finding out why the former first-round pick isn’t playing: He has the support of the Browns’ front office, but not coach Mike Pettine, according to a new report.

It’s widely believed that Johnny Manziel was the classic “owner’s pick.” New owner Jimmy Haslam saw the chance to make a splash during the 2014 NFL Draft, and drafting the former Heisman Trophy winner would put his franchise on the map–and it did just that. Manziel’s jersey became a top seller. ESPN led SportsCenter with stories about the Browns. Cleveland became the nexus of the football world.

And then Johnny had to play, and it turns out, the Browns rushed him into action.

Partying consumed Manziel’s rookie season, and treatment for an undisclosed problem led to an 11-week rehab stay. Manziel’s stock couldn’t have been lower…until Josh McCown went “Helicopter Man” during Week 1 against the Jets.

The Browns needed Johnny, and Manziel played well in relief. The next week, the 22-year-old won his first NFL game.

But then it was back to the bench, as McCown went on to post historic passing numbers.

Manziel continues to ride the pine, and his personal life is dominating headlines not just in Cleveland, but across the country.  He’s perceived as the poster boy for what’s wrong with Cleveland’s football team. The franchise stresses “Playing Like A Brown,” yet can’t act quickly enough to cover up their butts when bad PR heads their way.

Instead of Haslam or GM Ray Farmer answering for Manziel’s troubled personal life, Pettine is left to answer questions he wants nothing to do with.

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And according to a new report, he would probably rid the organization of Manziel if he had his way, according to ESPN Cleveland Browns’ analyst Tony Grossi: 

"“Haslam, Scheiner and Farmer are enamored with Manziel. Pettine is not, and that is the root of constant friction between the coach and the others. Winning is the only way for Pettine to survive, and that is not happening, of course.Farmer likes Manziel so much, I’ve been told by a source that knows Farmer well, that he would hire Kevin Sumlin as coach of the Browns if he had his druthers, which he does not. Sumlin was Manziel’s head coach at Texas A&M and was able to harness the college phenomenon that was Johnny Football.”"

At 2-4, the Browns season is trending downward, and the future is unclear as ever. For Pettine to keep his job, he has to win–and he doesn’t believe he can do it with Manziel. Why else would he keep him on the bench after showing glimpses of improvement in the limited time he’s played?

The front office favors Johnny. Pettine favors McCown–and the dysfunction only hurts the organization. With another high draft pick probably in the Browns’ future, Cleveland needs to identify if they have a franchise quarterback. If not, they need to move on from Manziel.

Next: Colleen Crowley: Who Is Johnny Manziel's Girlfriend?

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