The Cleveland Browns are no stranger to dysfunction, and they suffered another disheartening blow after it was announced that 2014 first round hopeful QB Johnny Manziel would be entering rehab. This news follows Josh Gordon getting himself into yet another lengthy suspension. Just as things were looking up for the team after a 2014 season that saw the most wins in 7 years going 7-9 last season. It's like deja vu as the Browns find themselves with another QB dilemma. Brian Hoyer had a record of 7-7 as a starter and will likely be gone in free agency. This leaves the Browns without a a definite answer at QB and they need to go back to the draft roulette to find one.
Manziel To Tampa Bay, Mariota To Cleveland
Johnny Manziel was a distraction from the start, and didn't impress enough on the field for the team to justify these off the field issues. Turns out, there was more to this story. Manziel has an alcohol and/or drug problem. Good for him for making a mature move to seek help. On the other hand, this is very bad news for the organization and fans. Along with star wide receiver Josh Gordon's alcohol problems himself, these are problems the Browns might feel the need to distance themselves from. Both players are troubled yes, but both players still provide trading value to teams that are willing to take a chance considering the potential.
With two 1st round picks (12th and 19th) and two players with incredible potential available to trade, Cleveland has some leverage when trying to move into one of the top two draft picks. The top two picks belong to Tampa Bay and Tennessee. Both teams need a quarterback and will be eyeing two former Heisman trophy winners (Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota). Most people have Winston as the number one overall pick and Mariota as number two, despite the fact that Mariota beat Winston head-to-head in the College Football Playoffs.
The Browns are in a fairly desperate situation sitting at pick 12 where the two best QBs will be already drafted. The Browns can use any number of draft picks in exchange for Tampa Bay's number one pick. Manziel could be traded to the Buccaneers as well so that they no longer have a need for the number 1 pick in the draft.
Manziel actually could make a good fit for the Buccaneers team on the field as long as his off the field troubles are behind him. Manziel's college teammate at Texas A&M and favorite WR target 6'5" Mike Evans had a breakout rookie season for the Buccanneers. The two former teammates could reignite that chemistry and level of comfort that brought them so much success in college. The two connected for 2,499 yards and 17 TDs in two years at Texas A&M. It was even rumored that Tampa Bay had interest in drafting Johnny Manziel in the 2014 draft.
Two Heisman Winning QBs On The Same Team
Lets say that the Browns decide to keep Johnny Manziel but decide that they want to draft another top QB and see who wins the job. Could you imagine, the Browns having two Heisman winning quarterbacks on the same team? Have two Heisman QBs been drafted by the same team in consecutive years before?
It sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen but is having two Heisman QBs on your team really such a bad problem to have? Both players have contrasting personality types but play with a similar skill set that an offense could be tailored to fit. Let the two compete for the starting job and let the best one emerge. It's a win-win situation and the Browns again could use their two first round draft picks to help get the number 2 pick in the NFL draft from the Titans.
The two were almost on the same team before actually. Both players were at the University of Oregon camp in 2010. After the camp, Manziel initially committed to Oregon and shorty after that, Mariota committed as well.
Keep It Conservative
Yeah, they could cut ties with Manziel and Gordon but that doesn't mean they are going to trade a bunch of draft picks for another big name QB. Regardless, the Browns need to find a QB and WR in the draft and they can grab both in the first round. With the 19th pick in the first round, they could get someone like UCLA QB Brett Hundley or Baylor's Bryce Petty without unnecessarily losing draft picks. The Browns have really done a great job recently with accumulating draft picks and playing smart and conservative. This stance could likely be extended if Mike Pettine and the Browns decide not to be risky with the picks.
Brian Hoyer can be a starter in 2015, but probably not in Cleveland. Johnny Manziel is just one big question mark and may need a fresh start somewhere else. No matter what happens, the Browns need to look to the draft to add more security to their quarterback position.