NFL Wire News

Browns: Hands were tied to suspend Manziel


The Sports Xchange

The Cleveland Browns contend that they did not have the authority to suspend quarterback Johnny Manziel for last Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams after a traffic stop earlier in the month in Avon, Ohio.

Browns general manager Ray Farmer said Tuesday that, according to the NFL’s personal conduct policy, only the league had the power to take action against Manziel. He said the team deferred to the NFL rather than deactivate Manziel for the game against the Rams while the league conducts its investigation.

“Any time there’s questions marks, we follow up,” Farmer said at a fundraider for the Domestic Violance & Child Advocacy Center in the Cleveland area. “Like I said in my statement, I had my conversation with Johnny. I’m not going to make that public. That conversation is private, and should be. He knows where I am, and I know where he is.”

Manziel was stopped on Oct. 12 on an interstate west of Cleveland after driving at a high rate of speed and weaving through traffic. He had an argument with his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, who told police that Manziel hit her and pushed her face against a window while driving.

Manziel said he had a few drinks earlier in the day, but police did not detect that he was impaired. However, officers determined that Crowley was drunk.

NFL executive vice president of football operatoins Troy Vincent gave the keynote address at the luncheon on Tuesday and said the league hires investigators trained in domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

“From my own personal standpoint, and I think from the league’s standpoint, every issue that involves physical violence or potential physical violence to a woman is serious,” Vincent said.

No charges were filed against Manziel and the couple left the scene together after the traffic stop.

“It doesn’t matter,” Vincent said. “That’s one of the things that we learned [from the Ray Rice situation]. We have our investigators that are experts in the area of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. We work with local authorities, but we’re not leaving it as we have done in the past, years past.

“We now do our own independent (investigation). One of the things that we learned and was recommended that we do is we have in-house people who are experts in that particular field that will conduct the independent investigation.”

Vincent said the results of the investigation are pending.

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