Browns' Pettine: Johnny Manziel 'very much in our plans;' no leader yet at QB
Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine denied reports on Tuesday that quarterback Johnny Manziel was out of the team's future plans, telling reporters the second-year player is "very much in our plans" and that the Browns have not yet built a depth chart for their quarterbacks.
Manziel was present for the first day of the Browns' offseason program on Monday, but did not address reporters on Tuesday, the first day of player availability, reports Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot.
Manziel spent 10 weeks this offseason at the Caron addiction treatment center in Pennsylvania for an unspecified issue. Upon his release from the facility last week, he issued a statement taking "full responsibility for my actions" and saying he looked forward to focusing on "my desire to be the best possible player, teammate, and man that I can be."
Pettine told reporters on Tuesday he spoke with Manziel in private this week, but would not detail their conversations.
"He's very much in our plans," Pettine said, reports ESPN.com "His career with us just hit the pause button [during treatment]. He's got to get himself right as a person before we worry [about the rest]."
Browns cornerback Joe Haden told reporters Manziel remained at the team's facility until 3 p.m. on Monday, despite the organized team session ending at noon.
Pettine also told reporters on Tuesday that the Browns do not yet have a leader at starting quarterback. Cleveland signed 12-year veteran Josh McCown in February to add depth aside Manziel and Connor Shaw.
Manziel appeared in five games last season, starting two and completing 51.4% of his passes for 175 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
- Mike Fiammetta