It’s not just fans and members of the media who are focusing on the off-field activities of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is also taking notice — and he doesn’t like what he sees.
That’s the word from Chris Mortensen of ESPN, who reported on the air today that Haslam wants Manziel to tone it down. Haslam was apparently bothered by the video that surfaced of Manziel holding a large stack of cash up to his ear, pretending it was a phone, and saying, “”I can’t hear you. There’s too much money in my f–king hand.”
“It did not sit well with the owner Jimmy Haslam, who did instruct his staff to at least have a talk with Johnny about being more savvy as he deals with social media,” Mortensen said, via Cleveland.com. “We know you’re young. We know you’re single. Joe Montana himself said that Bill Walsh pulled him aside, and that was before the age of social media. Johnny Manziel has been told to tone it down, and to watch what goes up on social media.”
But while Haslam may have passed that message along, Manziel apparently didn’t get it: Manziel has already declared that he won’t change his ways.
And while Haslam may have a point that Manziel would be better off toning things down off the field, one wonders: What did Haslam expect? Haslam excitedly said after the Browns drafted Manziel that everyone in Cleveland — even homeless people — was excited about Johnny Football. The Johnny Football persona isn’t just about what Manziel did on the field at Texas A&M, any more than the Broadway Joe persona was all about what Joe Namath did on the football field. When Haslam’s Browns drafted Johnny Manziel, they knew they were getting Johnny Football as part of the bargain.