The Washington Post

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Johnny Manziel ‘is not a starter’

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

Good ol’ Johnny Football might be Johnny Backup, according to Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, the Associated Press reports. Haslan made the comments while speaking recently at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he said that Johnny Manziel “is not the starter. Johnny’s the backup.”

Um, really? The electrifying first-round draft pick who’s already sold more Brown’s jerseys than any other rookie this year? Maybe…

Some of Manziel’s new teammates seem to back up Haslam’s words. Browns center Alex Mack told ESPN on Monday:

“I think good old Johnny Football is going to be a good addition to Cleveland. Don’t know who the starter is going to be, though.”

Tight end Jordan Cameron told ESPN:

“Coach [Mike] Pettine talked about drafting competition, and I think he stuck to that. It seems like it’s going to be a lot of competition. We’ll see how that battle goes. There’s no handing over the job.”

And linebacker Jabaal Sheard told ESPN that last year’s starting quarterback Brian Hoyer is “going to come out fighting. I’m not worried about that.”

Perhaps the Browns are more worried about Manziel’s fame rising higher than his game thanks to the likes of TMZ keeping track of his every move. These statements could be more of a way to keep a young ego in check. After all, Haslam did add the phrase, “This is not Hollywood,” into his speech the other night, according to the AP.

Cleveland fans, however, are refusing to believe it, at least on social media.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Marissa Payne · May 12, 2014