CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The circus is in town! The circus is in town! Well, no that's just Johnny Manziel, then again, is he in town, or is he in Las Vegas?
It has been nearly two years of the most outrageous stories someone could come up with, I give you "Billy Manziel."
Let me start by saying I was a HUGE Johnny Manziel fan when he was in college. He was fun and exciting and it was a treat to watch him. But I knew that it wouldn't work out in the NFL. I remember watching him in the New Year's Eve bowl game against Duke, saying "He is going to be our next quarterback" and shaking my head.
Manziel has always found a way to keep himself in the news cycle in his time as a Brown.
Since being drafted in 2014, Manziel has done everything but "wreck the league."
In 2014, Manziel had multiple incidents of him going out, partying, floating on an inflatable swan, talking on a "money phone," that is all before he took a snap in the NFL. In the preseason, he held up an obscene hand gesture to the Washington Redskins bench, where he was later fined $12,500. Manziel found himself in various situations where he was out late, not showing up for meetings, and missing a walk-though before the team's season finale, that he later admitted to being out late the night before.
You have to give him credit for checking himself into treatment, where he spent 10 weeks. However, when it was all said and done, how did it help him?
In 2015, Manziel and his girlfriend got into an argument on I-90. Police later came and Manziel admitted to drinking earlier in the day. No charges were filed, and the couple left together.
During the team's bye week, Manziel finally got the chance that all his supporters called for, when he was named the starter for the rest of the season. However, that would never come to fruition, after a video of him partying in Austin, Texas six days later surfaced. Then head coach Mike Pettine quickly demoted Manziel to third string. After sitting out two weeks, Manziel was named the starter for the final four games, but would only start three. Manziel missed the final game of the season after he was entered into the NFL concussion protocol.
Just when you thought it couldn't be crazier, the night before the team's season finale game against the Steelers, Manziel was spotted in Las Vegas, where he sported a blonde wig and sunglasses and introduced himself as "Billy."
People, you cannot make this stuff up! Whether it was Manziel in Vegas or not, I find it absolutely incredible that it is always something with Johnny.
You can debate that Manziel is in a no-win situation in Cleveland, and that no quarterback can succeed here. But you don't see other starting quarterbacks in this negative spotlight as frequently as Manziel.
Two things really stick out to me. Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas has always gone to bat for Manziel, but after the season finale loss to the Steelers, he said that Pettine "deserves the opportunity to find a quarterback." And days later, LeBron James' marketing company drops Manziel as a business client.
"I've heard a little bit of it and it's just a distraction for not only himself but for everyone that's around him, including family, people that represent him, the people around him," James said. "He'll figure it out at some point, we all hope."
Let's be honest, Manziel's play on field has been average at best. He has yet to show that he is worth the headache and the constant distraction. Manziel talks a big game and how he owns up to his mistakes and will learn from them, but actions speak louder than words, and his actions aren't showing that.
Before Manziel completed a pass in the NFL, the Browns were 7-4 sitting on top of the AFC North. Since then, they have only won three in the last 21 games. Coincidence? I think not.
The Browns seem to be cleaning house, and I hope the new regime is bright enough to realize that he is not worth it.