Football

Johnny Manziel is free, but stay away, Jerry

The Cleveland Browns cut Johnny Manziel on Friday.
The Cleveland Browns cut Johnny Manziel on Friday. AP

One has to hope that Jerry Jones didn’t break out the Johnny Walker Blue on Friday after the Cleveland Browns had set troubled former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel free.

Of course, “free” is a relative term strictly referring to football. Manziel, 23, remains under investigation by a grand jury in Dallas to determine whether he assaulted his former girlfriend. And the NFL is investigating if he violated its personal conduct policy in that incident.

The Dallas Cowboys owner, of course, was smitten with Johnny Football before the 2014 NFL Draft. But Jones’ son Stephen, wouldn’t let his dad do it, and instead the Cowboys drafted the more sensible and reliable offensive tackle Zack Martin.

But now Jerry has his chance again. He can bring the troubled Manziel to the Cowboys, long a home for wayward players from Pacman to Tank to Hardy.

Of course, it does seem that Jerry has come to his senses about bringing in Manziel as Tony Romo's backup, if indeed he still really had thoughts of doing so while anticipating the Browns releasing him. The Cowboys have been kicking the tires on longtime backup Matt Moore. Moore might not have the sex appeal as Johnny, but he is certainly much safer.

The thing with Johnny, though, is that on top of his legal entanglements and his deadly serious relationship with alcohol that sent him to rehab for 10 weeks after his rookie season, he has no track record of proven performance beyond his Aggie exploits.

In two seasons, Manziel played in 15 games and started eight with the dreadful Browns going 2-6. He completed 147-of-258 passes with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

But numbers really don’t matter in Manziel’s case. His partying trumps all, and he doesn’t appear capable of stopping. He’s popped up on social media numerous times since his tumultuous end to the 2015 season, his rehab stint obviously having been unsuccessful.

That he seems unfazed by his unsavory social media presence is either a total disregard for crafting any semblance of a pro career, or a very public cry for help.

Just last month, Manziel’s father revealed to The Dallas Morning News that he is fearful his son won’t see his 24th birthday if he doesn’t get help soon.

This is not a player Jerry needs to rescue. This is not a player for any NFL team to take a flyer on. Johnny needs help. Johnny needs help now.

Put away the Johnny Walker Blue, Jerry.

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