Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Browns reach limit with Manziel

CLEVELAND — The Browns are about to throw Johnny Football away.

The team issued a strong statement Tuesday, condemning quarterback Johnny Manziel's actions and pointing to his release in March, a move that has seemed inevitable for months.

Manziel's conduct — rampant partying, two domestic incidents and a general lack of commitment — have been a major problem almost from the day Cleveland drafted the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner in the first round two years ago.

Last weekend, Manziel, 23, was involved in a disturbance with his ex-girlfriend in Dallas that is being investigated by police and the NFL.

"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field," said Sashi Brown, the team's vice president of football operations. "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."

The Browns, who drafted Manziel with the No. 22 overall pick in 2014, can release him as early as Monday, the day after the Super Bowl. But salary cap implications point to the move happening March 9, when the league's new year begins.

The expected end to his run in Cleveland will conclude two turbulent seasons for the electrifying college star known as Johnny Football.

GAMBLING DENIAL: Troubled former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle denied a report that he was cut by the team midway through the 2015 season in part because he was betting on sports. Randle responded via text message: "No truth at all." The Dallas Morning News reported the Cowboys released Randle in early November because they learned he had been involved in sports gambling.

LUCK DEAL: Colts owner Jim Irsay believes "there's a good chance" the team will sign quarterback Andrew Luck to a contract extension that will be worth "nine figures" during the offseason, espn.com reported. "Obviously being this early, there's no reason to think that we would have had major negotiations yet, but that's going to be happening as this month gets later and March comes in and all that sort of thing," Irsay said.

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