Hoyer disputes report that it’s him or Manziel in Cleveland


When Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer was first asked about the report that Hoyer won’t re-sign in Cleveland while Johnny Manziel remains on the roster, Hoyer’s response reasonably could have been interpreted as a non-denial.

“Well, I don’t know who got that report, but that’s something that I have an agent to handle,” Hoyer told reporters.  “Right now, I’m focused on Jacksonville.”

Asked at the time whether he’ll sign for the long haul if Manziel remains in Cleveland, Hoyer again didn’t say enough to make it clear that the report should get no credence.

“This is where I want to be, but I also am a competitor,” Hoyer said.  “I want to be somewhere where I’m playing.”

In other words (possibly), “Yes, if there’s any chance I won’t be playing because there’s a first-round pick behind me, I’d rather go to a place where I know I’ll be playing.”

On Wednesday, Hoyer addressed the report again as an opening statement to his midweek press conference.  Possibly/probably/likely because someone realized that Hoyer wasn’t sufficiently unequivocal the first time around.

“First of all I want to address what we talked about the other day, but after Jeff [Schudel] mentioned the report, I wanted to see it for myself,” Hoyer said.  “It couldn’t be further from the truth.  There’s no accurate information.  I’ve never talked to that guy in my life.  From here on out, my main focus is Jacksonville.  If you guys want to talk about that, you can talk to the guys upstairs or my agent Joe Linta, who I think some of you know. From here on out I’m on to Jacksonville.”

It’s possible that Jason Cole’s report isn’t accurate because that really wasn’t his report; the headline applied to the report overstates its substance.  Cole’s comments on the Hoyer-or-Manziel issue arises from the observations made in many other places (including here) regarding whether Hoyer will re-sign with the Browns.  Due to be a free agent after the season, Hoyer has told PFT Live that, despite his desire to stay in Cleveland, he’d rather be a starter somewhere else than a backup with the Browns.

Here’s the crux of Cole’s report:  “They may even be forced to have to franchise [Hoyer] for the 2015 season as they try and work this out and then, if Hoyer really is the guy, they’re gonna have to get rid of Johnny Manziel somehow, some way and make it clear to everybody that Hoyer is the quarterback that they’re gonna go with for the foreseeable future.  Now there’s a lot to play out between now and then.  But one way or the other, if Hoyer’s gonna stay, Manziel has to eventually go.  When that is is an interesting question.”

Cole isn’t reporting that Hoyer will be making a me-or-Manziel ultimatum.  Instead, Cole is speculating on how the dominoes may fall. In the unlikely event that the Browns apply the north-of-$17-million franchise tag to Hoyer, it’ll be clear that he’s the guy for 2015.  And if Hoyer and agent Joe Linta in turn use the 2015 guaranteed salary under the franchise tag as the starting point for a long-term deal, the magnitude of any eventual long-term deal necessarily would make Hoyer the guy, at least for the next two or three years.

At one point in his report, Cole says that Hoyer will want to play for a team that both pays him and makes it clear he’s the guy.  But there’s a natural overlap between those two conditions.  If the Browns pay Hoyer enough, it’ll be clear that he’s the guy.  Which will mean Hoyer won’t need the added assurance of Manziel being traded in order to know that Hoyer will be the quarterback of the Browns.

To summarize:  Yes, the Browns eventually have to decide whether they want Hoyer to be the starter for 2015 and beyond.  Yes, if the choice is Hoyer, the Browns eventually will have to give Hoyer the kind of contract that by its very terms will make it clear that he’s the guy.

The sooner the Browns decide to make Hoyer the starter beyond 2015, the cheaper it will be to lock him up.  As a guy who’s never gotten a huge payday, he’ll be far more likely than most veteran quarterbacks to pounce on an opportunity to shift the injury risk back to the team — especially since Hoyer is barely one year removed from a torn ACL.

Of course, the less money that goes to Hoyer, the easier it will be to keep Manziel.  For Hoyer to force the Browns to trade Manziel, Hoyer will need to decline any offers the Browns may make and to remain healthy and effective for the next 11 regular-season games plus any playoff games for which the Browns qualify.

At that point, Hoyer will have the leverage to force the Browns to pay so much to keep him that they’ll have no choice but to call Cowboys owner Jerry Jones or Bills owner Terry Pegula or Dolphins owner Stephen Ross or Titans owner Tommy Smith or Texans owner Bob McNair or Raiders owner Mark Davis or Washington owner Daniel Snyder or Rams owner Stan Kroenke in an effort to move Manziel.

69 responses to “Hoyer disputes report that it’s him or Manziel in Cleveland

  1. So funny. It is either him or J. Foosball. Prolly gonna go in the tank and end up 6-10 after a couple losses to Jax & Oak, and end all the discussion, but if the clowns win more than 8 games, Hoyer will deserve big time starter money, and that won’t happen with Foosball on the roster.

  2. Or maybe the media in general is just trying to create a story where none actually exists?

  3. Best summarized quote I seen all day on this situation: “Hoyer is the guy for now, but Manziel is the future.” Still believe Manziel a starting QB… only way is to find out is if either Hoyer starts sucking or gets hurt.

  4. This is a media manufactured story, period. The NFL network in particular uses the Manziel story line just to entertain the non-Browns fans. Here’s how it is ( at least in my opinion ): The Browns sign Manziel at 22 because he was there and they weren’t sure about Hoyer and his small starting QB sample. The number 22 isn’t a “he has to play” pick. That would have been their first pick in round 1. Have a great day.

  5. Well, it’s nice to know that other websites also have headlines that overstate the substance.

  6. Call Daniel Snyder? ROFLMAO Florio…. now that’s funny… All that would be left is for the Washington football team to draft Winston…. Can you imagine Hard Knocks next year:

    Johnny Football
    Jameis Winston

    All fighting for the right to have Snyder sniff THEIR jock strap!

    I’d watch!

  7. Maybe Dallas will want to trade for Manziel.

    If ol’ Jerry was willing to think about his #16 overall pick for Manziel 6 months ago, you might be able to get a couple 2nd’s for the d&%#%.

  8. Aaron Rodgers was a 20 something 1st round pick and sat for 4 years or something.
    You don’t have to start Manziel even next year. Let him learn, from what I have seen reported Manziel was given a chance to win the job and didn’t. He needs to learn more about reading defenses. Let him sit again next year or even 2.

  9. Win people say it is a “Win Now” league, it is. But it isn’t a “9-7” league. Manziel isn’t ready to get them past 9-7 for a year or two.

  10. Media manufactured?

    Take off the 20-20 glasses now and go back to Derek Anderson’s pro bowl season for the Browns, playoffs etc…

    At THAT time, while winning, the Browns fans thought they had their man… that didn’t work out.

    Hoyer has started like 10 games or so in his career. He could even finish strong this year, make the pro bowl (he won’t) and lead them to the playoffs and then still not work out going forward.

    He might be their QB going forward and he might not regardless of whether they sign him to a big deal.

    Knowing he’s able to sustain good play beyond this season should be the Browns goal. Even if that means franchising him. That’s better than signing him to a long term deal with a lot of guaranteed money and having him not be the guy next year.

  11. Did he really steal Bill’s on to jax line? Wow. I guess everyone’s just on to the next opponent anytime they feel like being noncommittal. Genius.

  12. I would keep both. I don’t think Hoyer really cares if Johnny is there or not. Committing to either one is a gamble. Johnny has the upside, but is way too undeveloped and immature. Hoyer has been clutch so far but what if he turns into the Hoyer that 3 other teams released? Still too early to tell if either of these guys are the long term answer.

  13. The only one with much leverage here is Hoyer if he continues to play well.

    In that circumstance the Browns will have to pay him a lot to keep him or let him go FA.

    Manziel will have zero leverage at that point so there’s no reason to get rid of him. What’s he gonna do, hold out in training camp next year ? Not. Leave him sitting on the bench with a chance to learn.

  14. Manziel’s rookie contract isn’t a bad deal. Don’t see a rush to get rid of him. Even Hoyer’s borderline paranoia doesn’t bother me. There’s a list of current rookie QBs struggling and some vets doing the same, but pre-season and one solid game, those guys were crowned. Best bet is to let Hoyer complete a FULL season as a starter, let Manziel watch. Draft position only matters in contract talks. You draft what you need at the spot you are in. What you do with him doesn’t matter now with the payscale. In a way Hoyer sounds ungrateful in his soundbites. Why not just play and prove your worth instead of voicing your concerns. The team gave you an opportunity, take it and make the best of it. If not, someone else with far greater expectations will overpay and as soon as you slip up, you’ll be a back up again.

  15. Browns are all confused now wringing their hands, simply because Hoyer is playing well and the Browns are winning.

    The instant either of those changes for say 3 games in a row, the Browns brass will have a “bolt” of clarity and it’s Johnny time.

    They’ll have their answer by season’s end, one way or another. I’m rooting for Hoyer. He’s precisely what the Browns need short and long term.

  16. Or, just maybe, the Browns keep both guys for a few years and see what happens. Stop trying to stir up crap where none exists. Hoyer is an above average QB who has yet to play a full 16 game season, and yet has brought some measure of success and stability to the position for the Browns that they have not had since, what, 1989? Hoyer reminds me quite a bit of another Ohio kid who played for the Browns. Bernie Kosar was not an elite QB, but he limited mistakes, was great at reading defenses, and had a quick release. Nobody would mistake Kosar, or Hoyer, for a hall of famer, but Kosar did lead the Browns to 3 AFC championship games in a 4 year span. Nobody knows what JF is, and since he has absolutely no leverage whatsoever, he has no choice but to sit and hold that clipboard.

  17. So how many starting QBs has Belichick drafted now?

    Brady, Hoyer, Cassell, possibly Mallett and one day Garoppolo?

    Only 3-5? That’s awful. Florio is right. Belichick is a failure as a GM. I can’t wait for Florio’s article detailing all the other GMs with a better track record than that – because we all know Belichick can’t judge NFL talent

  18. If Manziel sits another year so what? Rivers sat for a couple, he hasn’t won a Super Bowl but he’s a decent QB. Browns will know at the end of the year who they want to keep. If it is Hoyer, it will be interesting to see who throws out what draft picks for Johnny.

  19. Let’s not pretend the Browns knew what Hoyer was because if they had any inclination he’d be a top-flight QB, they never would have drafted Manziel.

    And who knows what Hoyer will ultimately be. Pro ball produces all kinds of statistical anomalies and one-year wonders.

  20. Way too early to predict if he’s the starter long term. Hoyer has only played one decent team this year (Ravens) and lost. Every other team they played has been terrible this year. He has three more terrible teams coming up in with one win between them. The real test is when the Browns play their final 8 games against CIN, HOU, ATL, BUF, IND, CIN, CAR, and BAL.

  21. Hoyer’s pretty solid, but J Football has much more potential. He showed glimmers in preseason. He needs experience and seasoning, so this is a good set-up for him.

    He can do everything that Hoyer does, he has a stronger and more accurate arm, and of course, he also can move and run.

    Its telling that the Browns decided not to put Manziel into the Pittsburgh game while up 31-3 halfway through the 4th quarter. Why? To protect Hoyer’s still quite fragile ego. Because he’s still looking over his shoulder.

    Brian’s done a solid job, he will make an excellent back-up for the Browns, or a starter for a 2nd tier team. But its completely obvious that Manziel is a definite step up. And if Hoyer thinks for a second that he’ll be able to hold Haslem & Ray Farmer hostage, he’s just kidding himself.

  22. It’s what everyone thought, the Clowns threw away a 1st rounder on Johnny ‘Doesn’t have the skill set for NFL’ Football.

  23. So, Manziel is set to make the following salaries: 2015, $794,895; 2016: $1,169,750; 2017: $1,294,625 (not including the signing bonuses, which remain regardless of whether they keep him or play him. Those sound like reasonable backup QB numbers to me… Even if Hoyer ends up with $17 million per year (making him a top-10QB by pay). Just saying, I don’t see a controversy if Hoyer does great and earns a shot to stay and start.

  24. It amazes me that a sub-standard writer like Jason Cole has to write a story trying to make trouble in the Cleveland Browns organization when there is none.
    Cole has to make up a story to get his sorry ass some attention…but that has to happen when he just hasn’t the talent that a good writer needs.
    Jason Cole you need to move to Hollywood that is where the Fantasy-land writers live.

  25. Alex Smith went 13-3 and took the 49ers to the NFC Championship game in the 2001 season, then was a free agent afterwards. Only Miami showed a slight interest, so he re-signed with San Francisco.

    So honestly, who else would want Hoyer? Anywhere he goes he’ll have a younger quarterback behind him just waiting for him to get hurt. Better to let him go than to overpay him, like the Bills did with Ryan Fitzpatrick.

  26. IF this were 5 years ago, and we paid manziel Bradford money, this would be an issue. But JFFs salary makes it a non issue. hes under contract for 3 more years at about 2 million a year. Sign Hoyer to a 3 year extension at around 8 mill per. Let JFF sit, and see what happens. Get Gordon back, we have a young and talented team and 2 first rounders in 15. Looking up in the CLE.

  27. Hoyer, You have one of the best releases in the NFL… You are Very Accurate and have a high football IQ. Oh Yeah, Your touch is comparable to Drew Brees… I dont think you have to worry.

  28. The Browns should keep Hoyer and send Little Johnny Busto to another team for a draft pick. Manziel will always be a distraction for any team he’s on. I have no doubt in my mind Manziel will do something stupid down the road and get in trouble. Spoiled brats don’t change.
    Manziel is the most over rated QB to come into the league since Ryan Leaf and his career will fizzle and burn down the road.
    Everyone made a fuss over Tebow too, and we see how that worked out. What amazes me is how people think Manziel is relevant at all and that he even gets to do commercials. And what is he? He is nothing but a back up QB who couldn’t beat out a guy who was undrafted and cut by 3 other teams before signing with Cleveland.
    Why does he get so much publicity? Because he won the Heisman as a freshman? Woop dee doo. If we made a list of all the guys who won the Heisman and were busts in the NFL, it would be too long for this board.

  29. If I had to pick one today, I’d take Hoyer. If I had to take one for the long term, I’d probably take Manziel. Interesting situation for the Browns, but either way, if it’s going to take 17 million a year to keep Hoyer, the scales would tip drastically to Manziel (for me anyway)

  30. All you have to do is look at the offense last year before he was injured and this year. When Hoyer is in the game, good decisions are made and everyone else rises up. Last year without him there was no offense. He has an uncanny ability to read defenses and find the open man. Hell, Chud may still be coaching if Hoyer wasn’t injured.

  31. Vikings still need a QB.

    How about QB Manziel to the Queens for WR Corduroy Patterson & #1 (2015) + #1 (2016) ?

  32. Jacksonville, Minnesota, and the Raiders are working their salary cap scenarios to see what they could offer FA Hoyer. Its nice to be wanted and courted.

  33. This drama will keep building & tank the season.

    The Browns aren’t built to overcome a distraction after finally winning a couple games in the same calendar year.

  34. There media can’t create a story with Manziel anymore, do this is the one they create. In Reality, Cleveland has a LOT of cap space, and if they can’t figure out a deal, the worst thing that happens is that they franchise him, and pay him franchise QB money for one year, and it gives them another year to see how he plays.

  35. browns threw away a first rd pick on manziel. If any team trades for him, he becomes a project, because you have no idea what he can do in game situations. so what team is gonna give up picks for that.

  36. I don’t get why they wouldn’t be able to sign Hoyer to a reasonable 3-5 year contract and sit on JF. Rogers sat for what, 3 years behind Favre. That seemed to work out just fine. You don’t trade away a promising QB who is on a rookie contract. That decision can be made in about 3 years when his contract is almost up. That’s assuming Hoyer pans out. If he doesn’t, you dump him and his contract, like Seattle did with Flynn, and give JF a shot.

    Go Browns!

  37. The Browns will NOT trade Manziel. They’re hoping that this plays out like the Favre/Rodgers situation. Even if Johnny is pissed about sitting for 3-4 years, Hoyer (if he continues winning for us – this is all predicated on that, of course) will be 32-33 years old, and still worth a lot. The Browns can trade Hoyer and start Johnny at that point. You’ll get a lot of value for Hoyer, and signing Johnny to his second contract at that point will be a LOT less costly than it would if he were starting now.

    I think the Browns are in a perfect situation right now. Again – IF Hoyer keeps winning.

    As a lifelong Browns fan, it’s SO nice to finally have problems like this to talk about! LOL

  38. I think it is a no-brainer. Keep Hoyer as the starting QB and Manziel as the backup as he is on a rookie pay scale and you would pay any backup about what he makes. Hoyer would be affordable as a franchised QB and then after 2 years it will be clear if he is worth a long term investment. If Hoyer is not the answer at that time you have a backup who has had the time to learn the system and his team.

  39. Hoyer is simply saying he wants to play, and that he is earning that right by his current play on the field. He could care less about Manziel, except he DOES feel, and should, that he should not be a back-up just because the Browns’s front office doesn’t want it to look like they wasted a 1st and 3rd pick on Johnny futbol.

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