Johnny Manziel’s former Browns teammate reveals exact moment he knew QB would be a problem

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas revealed that he knew that trouble was brewing with quarterback Johnny Manziel before he even took a snap in a regular season game in Cleveland.

Thomas shared a story from OTAs (organized team activities) after Manziel was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by Cleveland.

“Well, shortly after we drafted him, he vanished in the spring. We were in the middle of OTAs, and the coaches couldn’t find him,” Thomas explained to Dan Patrick. “He’d come to Cleveland. He was there for like a day. He was at practice, and then he just disappeared. And I think he was just on a bender somewhere in Cleveland partying and he couldn’t find his way back to the facility.


“It was at that moment I was like, ‘We may have some problems with this young rookie here if he can’t even find his way during OTAs when he’s a rookie and he should be trying to put his best foot forward.'”

Manziel’s NFL career certainly fell short of expectations after he was a Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M University. The former first-round pick only lasted two seasons in the NFL.

A documentary about Manziel on Netflix recently released, sharing several unknown tidbits from the quarterback’s college and NFL career. During the documentary, Manziel admitted that he knew pretty quickly that he wouldn’t be happy in Cleveland and that he didn’t watch film.

That clearly contributed to the former Heisman Trophy winner’s demise in the NFL.

Thomas isn’t exactly sure if he wants to watch the documentary since he lived through the Manziel era in Cleveland.

“I’m not sure if I want to watch it because I lived it,” Thomas said. “And there are still a few scabs I’m peeling off right now after those Johnny Manziel moments. I’m a little bit torn.”

Manziel will be remembered as a controversial figure during his playing career, but he was a star at the collegiate level.

In the NFL, things weren’t as pretty for Manziel.

He appeared in 14 games in his career, making eight starts for the Browns. Manziel completed 57.0 percent of his passes for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also added 46 rushes for 259 yards and one score on the ground.

Manziel has not played in the NFL since the 2015 season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.