Johnny Manziel appears to be spiraling out of control. That downward spin could lead to him exiting Cleveland in the not too distant future. The Browns could still opt to back him and bypass a franchise passer this April, but reports suggesting he wants out and would like to go to Dallas are fairly damaging.
Manziel could stick in Cleveland for another year or he could be traded to Dallas, the spot everyone seems to agree is the most likely. But what if neither wind up being the case? Let’s think a little outside the box and consider four other other realistic options for Manziel if he ends up getting cut or traded this off-season:
The Eagles are headed for a bit of a rebuild, as Chip Kelly is gone after stripping their roster of some special talent. They also won’t have a legit starter under center for next year, unless they decide to bring back a very erratic Sam Bradford. Manziel may not be the answer, either, but it looks like he could be had for a late-round draft pick, which could mean landing a talented quarterback with some upside for a low price. Manziel received mixed reviews in his second season on the job in Cleveland, but there was no denying he improved greatly from his rookie year to now. The real question is whether or not his off field antics are a serious problem or if they were part of a plight to get out of a terrible situation. Either way, the Eagles don’t have a good answer at quarterback at the moment and could consider making the move if their next head coach is a fan.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams had been loosely tied to Manziel in the past and with Nick Foles being an epic bust last year, Jeff Fisher and co. could be getting desperate. Manziel’s athleticism on turf could be rather appealing, while anything close to competency out of him would serve as a major upgrade over what they’ve endured for years under center. Manziel would bring a boost to ticket sales and could potentially be the missing link on an offense that has held a very strong defense back for too long already.
Brian Hoyer proved once again this past weekend that he isn’t the answer for the Texans, so their search continues for a stable quarterback that can join Arian Foster in trying to move further into the playoffs. Houston passed on Manziel in the draft two years ago and it’d be ironic for them to somehow snag him now as their franchise passer. He certainly isn’t viewed as a stable presence off the field, but entering his third season, it’s highly possible Manziel could start to show stability on it. Bill O’Brien and co. didn’t see overly high on Manziel the first time around and after dealing with the headache that was Ryan Mallett, they could easily be even less interested in dealing with all of that drama again. Then again, such a rocky quarterback situation could call for a risky move.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are sitting on Blaine Gabbert and an injured and regressing Colin Kaepernick. Trading or flat out cutting Kap is a real possibility at this point, while their next head coach could want to get his own guy. That doesn’t make a trade for Manziel likelier, but neither Gabbert or Kap offer up a ton of confidence and Manziel at least has youth and potential on his side. An interesting scenario that could work out is the Niners cutting Kap, trading for Manziel and letting him battle it out with Gabbert in the preseason. That’d give Gabbert the chance he earned this season to keep his job, while also seeing if another competition finally shows Manziel is ready to be an every game starter.
In the end, I think Manziel is done in Cleveland and the writing on the wall has him in Dallas. Tony Romo is aging and physically regressing to the point where he simply can’t be counted on. With Romo publicly supporting Dallas getting a quarterback early in this year’s draft, why not use a later pick to secure Manziel? Jerry Jones has never hidden his love for Johnny Football and it’d bring the Texas A&M kid back to Texas. It’s the most logical move and it’s probably what will happen before or during the draft.
Got another idea for what could happen with Manziel or think he’ll actually just stick in Ohio? Let us know in the comments below!