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NFL AM: Browns To Cut Johnny Manziel

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Browns to cut Johnny Manziel March 9th:

The Cleveland Browns didn’t just select Johnny Manziel in the first round, they traded up, and back into the first round to do so. Now, before his rookie contract has even been completed, the team is preparing to release the troubled quarterback when the new league year begins.

Manziel cannot be released until the beginning of the new year on March 9th, but Tuesday Browns executive vice president of football operations Shashi Brown released a statement which made the team’s intensions quite clear.

“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field,” said Brown. “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. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.”

This story has bounced between confusing, strange, and comical, but now it’s gotten to the point where it’s just sad. “Johnny Football” has become just the latest first-round bust who is clearly too immature to handle the pressures and stresses of being an NFL quarterback.

But for Manziel, this has become about more than maturity. We’re all immature growing up, and there are men acting like children across this country right now and in NFL locker rooms every day. The former Texas A&M quarterback’s issues have now crossed the line from annoying or frustrating to concerning.

The Browns statement comes off the heels of another incident with Manziel and a woman in the Dallas Fort Worth area where another person called in an assault. When police spoke with the woman, she said she was concerned for Manziel’s safety, they attempted to locate the soon-to-be former Brown, calling out a helicopter to look for him. Eventually the search was concluded and it was determined Manziel was safe and in no danger.

While the spiraling quarterback might be safe and in no immediate danger right now, his actions have to make you wonder if it’s time to shift from people close to him trying to save his football career to trying to save his life. This young man’s behavior has to be concerning, and considering how difficult it’s been for him to get his crap together, and the fact that he’s been photographed in bathrooms with rolled up dollar bills in his hand, we should be concerned that he’s dealing with something much worse than alcoholism.

Broncos send home practice squad safety after he’s involved in prostitution sting:

If I could tell this story without saying Denver Broncos’ safety Ryan Murphy’s name, I would. Tuesday the Broncos sent their rookie practice squad safety home after he was questioned in a prostitution sting in San Jose.

While Murphy ended up not being arrested during the sting at a motel near San Jose International Airport, his brother was, and was cited and released. Despite the Broncos safety escaping the situation without a ding on his legal record, he’d probably have preferred a night in jail or some probation over being sent home from Super Bowl 50.

Gary Kubiak didn’t waste any time eliminating the distraction, releasing this statement via Twitter:

“Although practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was not cited by police, we decided it was best to continue our preparations for Super Bowl 50 without him,” Kubiak said in the statement. “Ryan is returning to Denver but his status as a practice squad player has not changed at this time.”

For a practice squad player to be anywhere near a prostitution sting days before the Super Bowl is beyond dumb, but Murphy isn’t the first NFL player to do dumb stuff at the Super Bowl.

In what is now an ironic twist, former Atlanta Falcon turned Carolina Panthers’ color analyst Eugene Robinson told Panthers’ players the cautionary tale of when he was arrested after soliciting a prostitute the night before getting torched by the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII because he spent a sleepless night in the clink. Then of course there’s the famous case of Barrett Robbins losing his mind and going missing before Super Bowl XXXVII where he’d have been the Raiders starting center.

Murphy’s transgression may not have been the worst we’ve seen at a Super Bowl, and he can at least argue that he wasn’t going to be playing on Sunday, but he’s now forever part of a list he’d probably rather not be. Nice job, rookie.

Vinny Curry signs 5-year extension with Philadelphia:

There’s a reason we tell you not to get excited by the available free agents lists when they start popping up towards the end of each year. The reality is that a large number of the players who are set to become free agents will be locked up by their team before your team ever gets a chance to talk to them.

While Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry may not have been one of the biggest names on the free agent market, he became one of those players who wouldn’t get near free agency as the team locked him up with a five-year, $47.25 million deal with $23 million in guarantees.

The Eagles’ defensive end has just 16.5 sacks in his four seasons in Philadelphia, and just 3.5 this season, but he’s a solid player the Eagles now they can rely on Sunday afternoons.

Curry’s drop in production a season ago came in part because he had trouble adjusting to the 3-4 defense run under Chip Kelly. The Eagles will be going back to a 4-3 under new head coach Doug Pederson, and the hope is that playing a more conventional defensive end position will help with Curry’s production.

Pederson and the Eagles have a long way to go before they’re competitive on the defensive side of the ball, and while many of those needs reside in the secondary, keeping Curry in the fold gives them one less thing to worry about as they begin what will likely be a drastic roster overhaul.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.