The Cleveland Browns are ready to cut ties with quarterback Johnny Manziel, according to an ESPN report published Tuesday. They just have to wait until March to do it. ESPN's Pat McManamon revealed Tuesday, the same day that Browns director of football operations Sashi Brown released a strongly-worded statement regarding Manziel's seeming propensity for off-the-field issues, that Cleveland will wait until the new league year begins on March 9 to release Manziel.
They do not have enough salary cap space to make the move on Feb. 8, the day after Super Bowl 50 and their first opportunity to dump Manziel. The NFL cap will increase in March, allowing them to cut ties then.
Here is the full text of Brown's statement, released in the wake of yet another incident involving Manziel and his girlfriend.
"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization," he said, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. "His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time."
Manziel will be remembered in Cleveland mostly for his wasted potential and what could have been. As talented as he is, he will end his Browns tenure with just eight games started, seven touchdown passes, seven interceptions and a 2-6 record.
The arrival of new no-nonsense head coach Hue Jackson seemed to sound a death knell for Manziel's future in Cleveland, and Brown's words combined with ESPN's report have solidified the fact that Johnny Football won't be back with the Browns next year.