The Cleveland Browns season is about to begin. The off-season that was tumultuous finally turns over into real games on Sunday. We will start our preview of the Browns/Steelers game this afternoon and carry it in through the weekend. How long until Johnny Manziel becomes a part of the bigger story of the Browns season is yet to be known. He might be in small packages starting this weekend or he might sit the bench the entire year.
One thing that has become clear over the past week is that Manziel will always be a perpetual trade target for the Dallas Cowboys. Owner Jerry Jones made it clear that he wanted to draft Manziel this year but was talked out of it by his football people One story had it that Jones had already written Manziel’s name down and his son, Stephen Jones, took the card out of his dad’s hand.
Jones went further in a interview published last week. Jones made it clear that selecting Manziel would of been the right choice and that he still isn’t happy about it:
Among the organization’s football minds, only Jerry Jones wanted Manziel. Jones’ son Stephen, the Cowboys’ executive vice president in charge of player personnel, had lobbied hard against choosing Manziel — “I’m still so damn mad at Stephen,” Jerry tells me — but Jones’ younger son, Jerry Jr., told me, “I’m the head of sales and marketing — where do you think I came down?”
Further in the interview Jones’ love of Manziel and loathing of the decision not to draft him is abundantly clear:
“When we were on the clock, I said, if we pick the other guy — any other guy — it would be a ticket to parity, more 8-8 seasons,” Jones says. “The only way to break out is to gamble — take a chance with that first pick, if you wanna dramatically improve your team. That’s why I wanted Manziel, but I was the only guy who wanted him. I listened to everybody … and I’m … not … happy …”
So we have an owner who is used to getting what he wants still lamenting a decision months later. Jones is not happy. An emotional Jones tends to make decisions based on his emotions. It seems his emotions towards Manziel will last for a long time. That means Manziel will perpetually be a trade target for Jones.
What does that mean for the Browns?
They are not going to trade him this year. They plan on him being the quarterback of the future in Cleveland. Yet after this year anything is possible, it is the N(ot) F(or) L(ong) league after all. The Browns could watch Manziel develop all year and decide at the end of the year he doesn’t have it in him to be a long term QB. Then, much like the Trent Richardson deal, the Browns could look to move him before his value plummets. This becomes especially possible if either the Browns or Bills pick is high in next year’s draft.
Even if it is not next year the age and health of Tony Romo means that Jones will constantly be bothering Ray Farmer to acquire the home state kid. Even if Manziel struggles, and especially if he shows signs of stardom, Jones could continue to try pry loose Manziel and rectify the mistake he feels he made.
Lets be clear, if Manziel is the QB the Browns and their fans are hoping he will be it doesn’t matter what Jones offers he will not be traded. Based on Jones’ comments it is clear that he will try his best to get Manziel to the Big D at some point in time. That makes Manziel a perpetual trade target with the likelihood that Manziel is either traded before the next draft or sometime 10 years from now. Either way, expect the Cowboys to always have their hand in the mix for Manziel. Can’t wait for the first Cowboys/Browns game in Jerry’s World. Talk about a circus.
What do you think of Jerry’s comments?