Browns owner Jimmy Haslam believes the team and Johnny Manziel can salvage their relationship despite a season filled with reports of the quarterback’s misbehavior.
“I don't think there’s any question about that,” Haslam said.
Multiple videos of Manziel partying were made public throughout the season, which concerned the team in light of the 73 days he spent in a rehabilitation center last year. He was also fined by the team for missing concussion treatment sessions, instead allegedly opting to gamble in a Las Vegas casino.
Haslam noted that newly hired head coach Hue Jackson and vice president of football operations Sashi Brown would be responsible for the decision whether to keep or cut Manziel. Jackson was hired after Mike Pettine was fired on Jan. 3, the final day of the NFL season.
“I think we made clear, I don’t have any different feelings than we had on Sunday, January 3rd,” Haslam said. “I think Johnny made progress on the field last year. I think that’s undeniable. We have a certain expectation for our players and that includes Johnny and he’s got to live up to those expectations.”
ESPN reported that Jackson said in his interview for the head coaching position that he wanted the team to “move on from Manziel.”
Manziel has two years remaining on the four-year, $8 million contract he signed with the Browns before the 2014 season. In 2015, Manziel appeared in 10 games for the Browns—six of which were starts—and threw for 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns.
- Erin Flynn