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Browns’ Manziel releases statement, makes apology


The Sports Xchange

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel issued a statement Friday, apologizing to the organization and fans, after spending 10 weeks at a rehab treatment facility.

“I would like to thank my family, friends, the Browns organization, my teammates, and Browns fans everywhere, for your patience, understanding, and support during my stay at Caron,” Manziel said. “The doctors and staff have been amazing and what I’ve learned in the last couple of months has been tremendous. I owe private apologies to a lot of people that I disappointed but a very public one to the Browns organization and the fans that I let down.

“I take full responsibility for my actions and it’s my intention to work very hard to regain everyone’s trust and respect. I understand that will take time and will only happen through what I do and not what I say. I also understand there’s a lot of curiosity about this but anyone who has a friend or family member that’s been through things like this knows it’s an ongoing process. I’m going to continue to ask folks to try to respect my privacy as I determine to what degree I am comfortable talking about a subject which I consider very personal. Most of you have been considerate about that and I thank you for it.

“I look forward to seeing my teammates next week and focusing on football and my desire to be the best possible player, teammate, and man that I can be.”

Manziel entered the treatment facility on Jan. 28. The Browns and others had become increasingly concerned about his partying and apparent denial. He was released last Saturday.

The Browns expect Manziel to join the team for offseason workouts, which begin Monday.

Manziel will come back to a new challenger for Cleveland’s quarterback job — veteran Josh McCown signed with the Browns after one season in Tampa Bay and 2014 starter Brian Hoyer left via free agency to join the Houston Texans. Manziel will again be the focus of questions and doubts about his ability to function in the NFL, on and off the field.

The Browns are taking Manziel’s commitment to his health as a positive sign for his future. A first-round pick in 2014, Manziel scored on his opening drive in an NFL game but otherwise looked lost on the field last season.

Manziel started two games and completed 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards and added nine rushes for 29 yards. He was placed on injured reserve after injuring his hamstring in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers.

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