Johnny Manziel Far From Sure Thing According to NFL Expert


The Cleveland Browns are preparing for their game with the Atlanta Falcons with Brian Hoyer entrenched as the starter. Johnny Manziel has barely seen the field, though we expect that to change this weekend. Greg Bedard, when addressing a question about Hoyer’s contract status, noted that Manziel is “far from a sure thing.”

"If Hoyer keeps the Browns afloat the rest of the way, the team is obviously in a very tough spot. They traded up to select Johnny Manziel in the first round, so he’s looming. But Manziel is also, from what I know, far from a sure thing."

Bedard’s wording opens up for some interpretation. We will address both possible interpretations and what it might mean related to Manziel and the future of their quarterback position.

Interpretation #1 – Bedard, as an NFL Expert, doesn’t believe Johnny Manziel is a sure fire starter in the NFL.

This interpretation is the simplest one to address. All NFL writers, including those with years of experience evaluating the league, has their opinion. With a lightening rod player like Manziel those opinions tend to be polar opposites. Most either believe he will be great or terrible, very few believe anything in between.

If Bedard, as an NFL evaluator, doesn’t think Manziel is a sure fire starter it just adds a voice to the pile. The Browns have little concern for what writers think about anyone on their roster. (If the media had it their way Josh Cribbs would be returning kicks this weekend.) Bedard could be right, he could be wrong but, unlike the team’s scouting and front office staff, his job does not depend on it.

Interpretation #2 – Bedard, with connections in the NFL, has heard from Browns staff that Johnny Manziel is not a sure fire starter in the NFL.

Working with and in the league for years, Bedard has connections in the NFL. Based on his wording we can’t remove the possibility that he has been given information that Manziel has doubters within the Browns organization. We can read that into the words “from what I know.” His knowledge could come directly from someone with the team.

If this interpretation is accurate than we have a far different conversation. It means the Browns are far more likely to do a few things we do not expect: 1) Over pay for Brian Hoyer, 2) Trade Johnny Manziel and/or 3) Draft a QB within the first 3 to 4 rounds.

The Browns are not likely to trade Manziel without signing Hoyer and if they do both of those things they are likely to draft another QB to backup Hoyer. (Brett Hundley could fall to the second round and the team loved him last year.)

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If Bedard has source(s) giving him the information from the inside than Browns fans should prepare themselves for a very short Manziel tenure with the team. Obviously players can develop and improve, Manziel is reportedly a very hard worker in the film room and practice, so anything is possible moving forward.

In the end how we as fans/writers interpret Bedard’s comments is just interesting. The Browns will show what is true in time. They have showed they are willing to cut bait with decisions, Ben Tate was waived after they signed him this off-season. How they treat Hoyer and Manziel this off-season is likely definitive of their opinion on Johnny Football.

Bedard compares the Hoyer/Manziel situation to Alex Smith/Colin Kaepernick. Browns fans could only be so lucky. He also notes that an Andy Dalton like contract could be in store for Hoyer if he leads the Browns near or to the playoffs.

Which interpretation of Bedard’s comments about Johnny Manziel do you think is most likely accurate?