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Browns Buzz: Farmer’s QB, Manziel, Bringing back Mack and Ward
- Updated: February 18, 2014
The Latest Buzz
We check in on the latest story lines surrounding the Cleveland Browns.
Browns trying to bring back Mack and Ward
The Browns may have tipped their hand on intentions with upcoming free agents Alex Mack and T.J. Ward. Prior to the ousting of Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi, the outlook of re-singing both Mack and Ward wasn’t necessarily bright. Now, GM Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine have made re-signing both players a top priority this off-season. The Browns are now seriously pursuing a re-signing of both players. A two week period in which the Browns can apply the franchise tag to either player began on Monday. If the Browns don’t see a deal in sight with one of the players, they could designate a franchise tag to one– but not both.
Alex Mack would come at a much steeper price on the franchise tag. Mack would cost the Browns somewhere in the neighborhood of $11 million to franchise tag. Ward would come in around the $8 million mark.
Mack has been a long shot to return to the Browns since the off-season began, but the new leadership in Cleveland looks to have brought a new outlook on the all-pro center. Mack wants to become the highest paid center in the NFL.
Farmer has his QB?
NFL general managers are fickle characters, especially when talking with the media. So take everything that these GM’s tell the media with a grain of salt as draft time approaches.
In an interview with Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, newly crowned Browns GM Ray Farmer claimed that he already knows which QB he would take in the upcoming draft if it were ‘today’. Now that’s pretty wild. Farmer already knows who he wants before the combine and before holding private workouts? Farmer also went on to say that his man wasn’t necessarily at the No.4 spot in the first round of the draft.
Farmer went on to state that this could all change, of course, but this is worth looking into if Farmer isn’t just throwing out a smokescreen and giving interview responses. That’s some pretty open dialogue for a general manager in his first week on the job and over two months away from the draft. He’s either extremely confident in his ‘guy’ already, or Farmer is just trying to keep things interesting. It could go either way at this point in time.
What does come through from this interview is the feeling that Farmer’s guy isn’t necessarily Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles. Maybe he has his eyes on someone like Derek Carr, Jimmy Garropolo or A.J. McCarron at a point later in the draft. Regardless of the who and where, Farmer claims to have his guy very early on. Just keep in mind that this can all be smokescreen, especially in February.
Johnny Manziel is quite the salesman before ever stepping foot on an NFL field or signing an NFL contract. The man known as ‘Johnny Football’ is already selling himself like an expert to just about any team willing to listen, including your Cleveland Browns. Manziel is playing this process like a genius. Telling every team he loves them and promising championship destiny wherever he lands.
After telling the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain that the Texans would be making the worst decision they ever made if they passed on him at No.1 overall in the draft, Manziel warmed the hearts of Browns fans by gushing over the franchise.
Manziel says he would pour his heart out for the Dawg Pound if he happened to land in Cleveland with the Browns. He also discussed how badly he would want to buck the Browns’ losing trend by bringing Cleveland their first Super Bowl. Manziel said all of the things about Cleveland and the Browns that fans dream about when star athletes start talking. Normal star athletes don’t open up like that for a team over two months before the draft.
Manziel is saying all of the things that make Browns fans fall in love with him. If Browns Nation could ink Manziel to a lifetime contract right now, they would do it in a heartbeat.
But don’t move so quickly. Manziel has a lot of things to show the NFL world before he becomes the prized prospect everyone thinks he will become. He has workouts and interviews coming up that will make or break his draft status. It will make or break his availability to the Browns as well. A good couple of months from Manziel could easily make him out of reach for the Browns. He may already be out of reach for the Browns.
So, approach the Manziel Mania with caution. He’s saying all of the right things to all of the teams that are looking at him. Johnny Manziel isn’t dumb.