It is official now that Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has been benched after video of him partying during the bye week showed up online. In his place will be quarterback Josh McCown, who the Ravens saw in a week 3 loss.
The Browns released a statement following our last story.
"Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens. I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.
Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward."
It's also being reported that Johnny Manziel might have played his last down as a Cleveland Brown, much less the last snap of the season.
I'm told there is a very good chance Manziel is third string the rest of season. Very well could've played his final game for Browns— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 24, 2015
It is no doubt a difficult decision for Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine and the organization to make, but one that needs to happen for a variety of reasons. First is the idea that Manziel has an admitted alcohol problem and was seen with a rather large bottle of champagne in his hand and one of many in the video. It is also being reported that the video was only a part of a "2 day bender." For a guy with an admitted problem, allowing him to carry on like that with no repercussions is the exact reason that he is in the predicament that he is in in the first place; that diva mentality.
Second is the fact that it absolutely makes the team look bad. Manziel hasn't had the best history of making positive decisions in the presence of alcohol and that has not only hurt him, but his teammates as he has brought them with him at times. Even though Manziel had nothing else happen to him from that week, that we know of so far, it still doesn't excuse the event happening in the first place.
He, along with everyone else on the planet, knows he is on a short leash and continuing to tug on that flies in the face of authority. The same authority that he had promised to stay in and "relax" and to stay away from the exact situation he found himself in.
Even though Manziel is a grown adult by age standards, he has yet to show that he can handle himself like an adult or be responsible enough to do what is expected of not only a first-round pick, but of a starting quarterback that has finally been given his chance to shine.
Instead, the Ravens will face off against 36-year old Josh McCown, the same quarterback that torched them for nearly 500 yards in week 3. Even though the game was close before, 33-30, the loss of Flacco and Forsett gives few people a reason to watch what is normally a primetime matchup. Now with Manziel out, the storylines will be few and far between.