Time for Cleveland Browns to cut bait on Johnny Manziel

Dec 27, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

The time has come for the Cleveland Browns to put an end to Johnny Manziel’s tenure with the team.

After a beat down by the Pittsburgh Steelers to end the 2015 NFL season on Sunday and the firing of their head coach and general manager, the Cleveland Browns believed their terrible season couldn’t get worse.

Or so they thought.

An unconfirmed report was floated after the final game that quarterback Johnny Manziel had been sent home earlier in the week for showing up drunk in Berea for a meeting.

The report originated on the The Really Big Post-Game Show with ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi. Grossi had asked former head coach Mike Pettine after the season finale about the report, who shot down the speculation

“He denied it happened on Tuesday,” Grossi said on the air, adding that his sources told him the incident occurred on Wednesday.

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That accusation came on the heels of a report that Manziel had been seen in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The following day Manziel, who was in the league-mandated concussion protocol, missed a mandatory early morning meeting with the Browns medical staff.

Team representatives attempted to reach him, however they were unable to do so as Manziel didn’t answer his phone and owner Jimmy Haslam later confirmed that the team had no idea where Manziel actually was.

That was all just prelude, however, to a report from ESPN Las Vegas that the Browns no longer have a player named Johnny Manziel on their roster. Say hello to Billy Manziel!

Yes folks, apparently Manziel reportedly played blackjack at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas while wearing a fake mustache (that was reportedly falling off throughout the evening) and a blonde wig … while also reportedly asking to be called Billy, not Johnny.

Social media has blown up with different memes and t-shirts of “Billy Football,” yet no pictures or videos have emerged.

It was reported late Monday night that TMZ was in negotiations with someone to obtain the rights to footage of Manziel partying with his “Donald Trump-like wig,” but so far no video evidence has surfaced.

Mitch Moss of ESPN Las Vegas, who first reported the disguise part of the story, stated on Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd” radio show that Manziel requested to be seated in the darkest areas for his dinner and at the club, a request that was granted.

At the end of the night, Moss added that Manziel asked that the evening be comped as he didn’t have any cash on him and didn’t want to pay with a credit card card in fear that a receipt with his last name on it could potentially reach the public.

This story could go on for pages, but the question now facing the Browns is what to do with Manziel?

Reports still exist that the Dallas Cowboys are interested in Manziel, with Dallas owner Jerry Jones saying this week that he’d “take a risk” with a backup quarterback.

Could Manziel be so miserable in Cleveland that his latest actions are his way to solidify that the Browns cut him loose? The easy answer is “of course not,” because no professional would do such a thing.

That makes sense, although professionals typically don’t go to Las Vegas, don a disguise and claim to be someone else as a joke, and then skip a mandatory meeting the next morning.

To be honest, I never jumped on the Manziel bandwagon from the beginning. However, with each game he started this season, Manziel demonstrated improvement and kept finding a way to be considered for the starting quarterback position next season.

The bottom line is that an NFL team will only go as far as its quarterback will allow them to, and that they are defined by their actions on and off the field. Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton and Josh McCown (to name a few) didn’t skip out on their team Sunday, despite being injured, and their respective owners don’t have to worry about that on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately, it’s time to cut bait with yet another lost hope for the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback search.