Following another off the field issue involving the police, it seems as though the Johnny Manziel era will be coming to an end once free agency begins in March. Early on Tuesday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns’ director of football operations Sashi Brown released a statement that made it clear the organization was ready to move forward without the Heisman winning quarterback.
Prior to this recent dust up with the law, there had already been rumblings that the team was planning to part ways with Manziel after news leaked that Hue Jackson made it clear that he’d only take the job if he could move on from the former first round pick. This incident only cements those reports.
Now that Manziel’s imminent release has become official, it’s time for the chatter of his eventual landing spot to pick up. Many have already linked him to the Dallas Cowboys due to Jerry Jones’ interest, but could there be another team, possibly the San Francisco 49ers?
While 49ers CEO Jed York has already voiced publicly that current quarterback Colin Kaepernick is safe thanks to the hiring of former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, it doesn’t mean that Kelly couldn’t bring in Manziel to be the backup. With only one year remaining on his contract, Blaine Gabbert is currently entrenched as Kaepernick’s backup, but with the team changing offensive philosophies next season, Kelly might feel the need to bring in another dual threat quarterback to run his offense.
On the surface, this idea may seem crazy to most fans since Manziel is far from a polished product and bringing him to town would most definitely create a circus like atmosphere, but it’s right up Chip Kelly’s alley, and could pay dividends in the long run.
By bringing Manziel on board, Kelly would have the privilege in shaping him the way he did Marcus Mariota, and would have a fail safe in case Kaepernick didn’t work out. If Kelly were to convince the 49ers’ brass to sign Manziel and was able to turn the quarterback’s career around, it would play a big role in helping fans (and his peers) forget about his disastrous final season in Philly.
The Manziel era might be over in Cleveland but it could be just beginning in San Francisco.