Browns deny they nearly drafted Teddy Bridgewater


As the Browns continue to strenuously object to any story suggesting that owner Jimmy Haslam made the call to draft Johnny Manziel, there’s a new report saying the team was just seconds away from selecting Teddy Bridgewater instead.

That report comes from longtime Browns reporter Tony Grossi of, who cites an unnamed source as saying that the Browns filled out a card with Bridgewater’s name on it and were about to hand it in as their official pick in the draft. And then, according to that source, Haslam ordered them to change the name on the card to Johnny Manziel.

The Browns strenuously deny that.

“That is not true,” Browns spokesman Zak Gilbert said. “I was in the draft room. That didn’t happen.”

Browns head coach Mike Pettine told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the report is “beyond laughable.”

And Haslam said General Manager Ray Farmer “made the trade, picked Johnny Manziel. There’s no doubt that Ray makes those calls.”

It’s not hard to believe that Haslam told his football people that he personally preferred Manziel over Bridgewater, but it’s extremely hard to believe that Haslam would wait until the Browns were on the clock and had already written another player’s name on the card to order them to draft Manziel instead. That would be as crazy as taking draft advice from a homeless guy.

81 responses to “Browns deny they nearly drafted Teddy Bridgewater

  1. It’s too bad they didn’t.

    Teddy Bridgewater will be a top 5 QB this year.

    No other QB in this draft has the accuracy, poise and intangibles that Bridgewater has.

    He’s a all-pro / Super Bowl MVP in the making.

    Skol Vikings!

  2. wait I saw Draft Day – so I know this kind of thing happens.

    Yes – I’m being facetious and yes I am embarrassed that I saw Draft Day.

  3. It’s almost like in today’s day and age that when someone goes on the record and denies the allegations, that we still go with these rumor mill stories that originate from someone’s basement via twitter. It’s funny, regardless of the truth it’s still written in a tone that paints the Browns as a joke. They literally can not win.

  4. Now we’ll see if Farmer has the same expectations as he had from Printers in KC, you know, changing the browns from their current state of Chicken Sh&t into Chicken Salad.

  5. I told everyone single one of you PFT readers since the end of the college football season that Teddy Bridgewater was coming to Minnesota – and I was absolutely correct.

    This wasn’t random.. It was destiny.

    Teddy Bridgewater is hands down the best QB in the draft and his lackluster pro day was the only thing that brought it down, which Norv Turner completely fixed in his private workout.

    He’s by far the best college QB on tape, and will dominate in the NFL.

    I can already see the purple & gold confetti falling.

    Super Bowl here we come!

  6. Hell… Haslam seems such an upstanding guy… As classy as it gets … No way this happened , and no way he’s part of the denial if it did happen


  7. I’m almost certain they wanted Bridgewater, but Haslem had other ideas. Some his own, some THC induced and others from his new friend under the bridge. (Or was he hallucinating?)

    First I thought it was a bad idea to draft Manziel, but he and Haslem deserve each other.

  8. I think Bridgewater will be decent. However, I don’t think he will develop fast enough or become good enough for Adrian Peterson to want to stick around.

  9. The unamed source is in connection with the Vikings. Trying to smooth over the fact they tried to trade back up to get Manziel and have Bridewater feel that he was wanted.

  10. Grossi being Grossi. He wants full access to the team, when he is denied he tries to make them look bad. Still mad that Lerner/Holmgren got him fired from the PD.

  11. Who cares. The draft is always the browns Super Bowl. Give it a few weeks into the regular season and they’ll come back to earth

  12. Given that they spent a $100,000 analytics report that said Bridgewater was the best one, it’s not surprising that this possibly happened. Why would you spend a lot of money on a report and not abide by its conclusions? Picking Manziel was a PR movement just like Tebow was hired by the Jets to sell jerseys.

  13. Seeing how your $100K QB Study concluded Bridgewater was the pick, you’d be dumb not to consider him.

  14. Stranger things have happened in Cleveland, but Grossi is about as credible as my left sock.

  15. There is no guaranteed franchise QB in this year’s draft. As close as you will come to a guarantee is this, whoever the Vikings draft at QB will be a bust.

    Just look at their history.

  16. Leave it to Cleveland to botch their QB pick. Why have a 100k study and then pick the “other guy”? Thanks for doing the study, we’ll take your guy and make him our franchise QB! Vikings never wanted Manziel or they wouldn’t have brought in Bwater 4 times. Skol!#Factoryoftouchdowns

  17. It is within the realm of possibility that the Browns looked at Bridgewater so hard because they knew they weren’t taking any QB with their first pick and really didn’t think Manziel would still be on the board when they picked again…but when he was, they took him.

  18. There is no guaranteed franchise QB in this year’s draft. As close as you will come to a guarantee is this, whoever the Vikings draft at QB will be a bust.

    Just look at their history…….

    Look at the Packers, Jones, Perry, Bulaga, Sherrod, Harrell, Raji. I would shut up about busts in other teams selections

  19. What’s the difference ? It’s still Cleveland, they might as well have drafted Mr. Magoo.

  20. Manziel is raw and will take a couple of years to mature into a quality QB. There is great potential on the field and intangibles like leadership, will to win, and marketing.

    The other QB does not have much upside and very poor intangibles. A story like this supposedly makes the lesser fan base feel that there QB is almost as good as Manziel.

    Manziel is loved and accepted by Browns fans while the other guys are worried about their pick.

  21. Who really cares anymore. Instead of watching the comedy show just watch what the browns r doing or have done and u will get a good laugh

  22. I think Bridgewater, Manzeil and McCarron will end up being the big QB successes out of this draft. And I predict their teams will eventually become title contenders for NFL Crown. Some of it will be fate IMO. And some will be just falling to the right team at the right time. I think Johnny Football will win that Browns job as Hoyer rehabs. And if Ponder in Minnesota or Dalton in Cincinnati get injured or falters. They’ll both lose their jobs IMO.

  23. Bridgewaters hands are ridiculously small… Wait until he is outdoors in Minny this fall in the cold and snow… He wont be able to hold on to the ball…

  24. There once was a QB in Kentucky
    Who prior to pro day was plucky
    But he fell in the draft
    ‘cause the media’s daft
    And the Minnesota Vikings got lucky

  25. It should also be mentioned that Tony Grossi spoke with Ray Farmer before the draft and he favored Bridgewater. It was after that conversation that the $100,000 analysis the Browns paid for – citing Bridgewater as the best QB in the draft – was published.

    It was also abundantly clear Haslam favored Manziel over Bridgewater.

    So why would Farmer draft Manziel over Bridgewater if it wasn’t for Haslam ?

  26. Regarding Bridgewater’s small hands:

    They’re about the same size as Aaron Rodgers’ hands (an eighth of an inch smaller). Seems to me he’s done alright throwing in cold weather.

  27. Tony Grossi is still mad that he got axed from Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. This guy is always trying to stir up something that’s not there. Pretty soon, the Browns may not let him near the team.

  28. QB’s have good pro days and average pro days, but nobody has a BAD pro day except for gloveless ted bridgewater. Jon Gruden said he would take bridgewater off his board after that pro day, that’s how stunning bad it was.

  29. This is a load of garbage, thrown out there to fuel the continuing national media hatred of the Cleveland Browns, and to trigger the Pavlovian comment reflex we have continually observed from fan haters as well.

    Keep hating, haters.

  30. The Browns have enough on their plate defending the bust of a QB they did draft. They shouldn’t have to defend the bust they let Minnesota take.

  31. Maybe they can find the discarded Browns draft card with Teddy Bridgewater’s name in the trash. This sounds like a task for Tony Grossi.

  32. We all know neither one of those QB’s will amount to much. MN will just end up paying theirs a small amount less before they are released. We are 4 years away from no longer having the likes of Brady, Manning, Brees, and Rogers. Then the league will be full of QB’s who “manage” their teams, so the QB won’t matter and RB’s will once again rule the day.

  33. Bottom line is that the Browns have to create some excitement and sell seats. Truth is no one really knows with any certainty what QB will work out, so if things are close, why not go with the guy that will sell seats. I can easily see the owner overruling the staff on this. I also heard that Browns season tickets sales are going through the roof.

  34. These are the Browns we are talking about. Look how bad they have been the last 15 yrs. of course this story is true

    There is also another Tony Grossi story that said the Browns didnt even have any WRs handy for Johnny Footballs private workout. Grossi is reporting that he was throwing passes to Kyle Shanahan.

    Considering their idiot GM didnt take a WR knowing his best WR was going to be suspended for the year of course these reports are true

    Grossi has no reason to make the story up. He has nothing to gain. The Browns create their own problems by being stupid

    I mean what dumb owner would say a homeless man said take Manziel. Only the Browns can screw up something so simple

  35. What dumb GM wouldnt take a WR in one of the deepest WR drafts in recent year and ITS ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST HOLES


  36. I wonder what will happen when Johnny Football realizes he will spend the next 5 years of his life in Cleveland Ohio, sounds more like a prison sentence then the greatest day of your life. I can’t imagine this going wrong at all with a diva like Johnny and a new head coaching staff, have fun Browns Fans!

  37. Bottom line in my mind. Does Grossi have an axe to grind? Maybe, but the Plain Dealer was wrong. For all you fans from other teams that do not know what happened Lerner/Holmgram had the guy fired for speaking his mind and making them look bad. Ask any true Browns fan what the two did for the team. So if he does have an axe to grind I understand why.

  38. What makes the story even more laughable is the fact that nobody even knows if that is a good thing or a bad thing until either one of these guys get on the field.

  39. If I were an NFL GM, I TOO would deny that I was about to draft the player that the Vikings eventually took. After all, there are 31 professional caliber teams in the NFL, and then there is the Minnesota Vikings.

  40. IF Haslam really did have them change the name, then more power to him.
    Cleveland doesn’t blow up over Teddy, Cleveland EXPLODES over JFF.
    I hope he made the call. It’s about merch and $ and not really how great he plays.

  41. Reading about the Browns is getting to be like reading a gossip column. It always has been but it’s like, every story is about some sort of “misdirection”, like a spy novel. You know?

  42. As with many of these stories, why is this even a story? They took who they took and we’ll find out in about 3 years if they made the right choice. As a fan, I don’t care who they almost picked, even if it’s true.

  43. A small framed guy, with small hands that couldn’t pass his pro day…Boy, I can’t wait for this disaster to come up to Minnesota and lead the Vikings down the field in 10 degree weather.

  44. Norseman says:
    May 12, 2014 3:02 PM
    There once was a QB in Kentucky
    Who prior to pro day was plucky
    But he fell in the draft
    ‘cause the media’s daft
    And the Minnesota Vikings got lucky
    Always appreciate a good effort.
    You “Your team sucks” people could learn from this.

  45. wow,who cares. both QBS are a wash,except Manziel brings in money and press. I love inside information that gets leaked by the janitor.

  46. Here is the bottom line! I have wanted Teddy for a lomg time! It is painfully obvious my Vikes struggle when selecting a QB. If I were GM, I would have taken TEddy, and used a later Mccaron or Fales. Both of which I think will end up being solid QBs in this league!
    Here is the Best part! Even if Teddy were a bust, we traded our second and a 5th to move up, not Exctly a ton! The vikimgs still had a killer draft once again! Rick Speilman is proving to be an elite GM, now we have the coaching to back it up! The vikimgs will be a good team the next few years, the future is Bright! Skol!!!! I, however, thing Teddy Bizzle will be a great QB, his ability to read D’s and his accuracy are exactly what we need! AD will have minimum 2100 yards this year

  47. Viking apologist —- Even if Bwater is a bust? you have tons of guys and holes to fill on your team with solid college and skill ….then you go after a guy your not sure of? Is this a ponder redo..Tavaris, Webb, fumblepepper, the guy from philly, tampa, etc. etc etc. getting old get throwaways and maybesssss.

  48. Who cares who wanted who? I’m glad the Browns took Johnny! He’s a riskier pick vs. a polished pocket QB like Bridgewater. 70% of Johnnies highlights are QB runs and that doesn’t last in the NFL. Also his passes are into triple coverage, again something that doesn’t work in NFL. Johnny Football is also a spoiled rich kid who gets money from his parents. If he doesn’t last in the NFL, so what? He is already rich. He has nothing to work for. As a Vikings fan I don’t know if Bridgewater will work either (no body knows if any of these QB’s will so stop acting like you know). I just know the way Johnny plays, his attitude, and his characters are far more risky when it comes to transferring and lasting in the NFL.

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