Video of Johnny Manziel causes stir as Browns end bye week

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel might not start Monday against the Ravens.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel might not start Monday against the Ravens. (Gene J. Puskar / AP)

CLEVELAND — Johnny Manziel couldn't make it through the Browns' bye week without being a distraction.

Manziel, who promised last week that he wouldn't embarrass Cleveland's organization while the team was off, spent time partying in Texas and then hanging out at Saturday's Ohio State-Michigan State game in Columbus, Ohio.

On Monday, a video surfaced of the second-year quarterback holding a bottle of champagne and singing rap lyrics in a DJ's booth at a club in Austin, Texas.

The team announced Tuesday that Josh McCown, not Manziel, would start against the Ravens on Monday night. Manziel is the third quarterback on the team's depth chart.

While Manziel did nothing illegal, the sight of him out on the town must be disconcerting to the Browns and coach Mike Pettine, who selected the former first-round pick as the starter for Cleveland's final six games.

That announcement was followed by the NFL clearing Manziel of any wrongdoing following an investigation into a recent domestic incident.

Manziel spent part of Monday with teammates at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, boxing Thanksgiving meals for needy families. After the event, Manziel spoke about his weekend activities and said he had not seen the video making a stir on social media.

"This has been my main focus: getting back, getting prepared and then coming here for this," he said.

"So I haven't seen anything or heard anything. I've been here for this event, and that's really what I want to talk about, the things that are really important, not what I'm doing off the field.

"It's what we're doing here in the community and what we're doing to get ready for this game (against Baltimore) on Monday night. So that's where my focus is, and I haven't had my focus anywhere else. I know that."

Manziel's off-field behavior has been an issue from the moment the Browns drafted him. Following a disappointing rookie season he acknowledged not taking his job as seriously as he needed to and the 22-year-old spent 10 weeks in a Pennsylvania rehab facility specializing in alcohol and substance abuse.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun