While Johnny Manziel had doubters in Cleveland from the day he was drafted, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas was one of those who believed the former Heisman Trophy winner could be successful in the NFL. Manziel’s most recent off-field issues apparently will cost the QB his roster spot with the team.
“Obviously we hoped Cleveland was going to be where he became that starting NFL quarterback and was the starter in Cleveland for a long time, but it didn’t work out for a lot of reasons,” Thomas told reporters. “I’m sure he’d say that a lot of them were his own fault. So hopefully he’ll get his life on track and be able to use those talents at some point here in his career.”
When he first arrived in Cleveland, Thomas quickly took a liking to Manziel both on and off the field. Needless to say, the way Manziel’s Browns career will end is not how Thomas envisioned it.
“It’s a sad end to the story in Cleveland for Johnny,” Thomas said. “He’s a guy that personally I like. I believe he has a lot of talent. He’s got the talent to be an NFL quarterback, but it obviously hasn’t worked out so far.”
The story that most recently has haunted Manziel is an alleged domestic violence incident with his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, which is under investigation by Dallas police. Many have voiced strong concern for the quarterback’s mental health and well-being, including Manziel’s own father.
“It’s just a sad turn of events right now,” Thomas said. “It’s hard to really say too much about allegations because plenty of innocent people get accused of things all the time, so you don’t really know exactly what happened and obviously I wasn’t there so I don’t have a first-hand experience to go off of. … But whatever he’s dealing with, I hope that he’s able to get that under control and get things straightened out, and hopefully if football’s important to him, be able to put everything he has in his life into football.”
In order to have any chance in the league, Manziel will need to prove he has changed off the field.
“I hope that he has success with that, but obviously the other things that are going on in his life are more important right now,” Thomas said. “He needs to get those things solved and straightened out before he wants to make a comeback in football.”