Johnny Manziel sat and sat and sat in the first round of last week’s NFL draft before finally being taken with the No. 22 pick by the Cleveland Browns, who traded up to do so after getting a bit of a nudge from the former Texas A&M quarterback.
Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains said in a radio interview Thursday that a text from Johnny Manziel during the draft helped inspire owner Jimmy Haslam to trade up for him.
“We’re sitting there and they keep showing Johnny on T.V. and Johnny and I are texting and he shoots me a text and he says, ‘I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there. I want to wreck this league together.’
“When I got that text, I forwarded it to the owner and to the head coach (Mike Pettine),” Loggains said Thursday on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly on Arkansas ESPN. “I’m like ‘this guy wants to be here. He wants to be part of it.’ As soon as that happened, Mr. Haslam said, ‘pull the trigger. We’re trading up to go get this guy.”’
Cabot’s article also quotes Haslam as saying that Browns General Manager Ray Farmer made the call to trade up and draft Manziel, and that Haslam didn’t pull the trigger himself (perhaps with help from his homeless-person adviser).
“Ray’s the one that picked Johnny Manziel,” Haslam told the Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon club on Monday. “We took the top-rated quarterback on our board when he was available. That was solely Ray’s call, not my call.”
He added that although “Ray gets a lot of input, Ray’s the one that decided to make the trade, Ray’s the one that picked Johnny Manziel, Ray’s the one that made those calls and that’s his job. I want to make that very clear.”