The G.M. who drafted Johnny Manziel says his team should have been ready for the unique challenges associated with bringing in a rookie who’s already a superstar.
Former Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said today on ESPN that an NFL team that’s going to draft a player who’s already famous even before he arrives needs to be ready to deal with the fallout from that, and he suggested that the Browns weren’t ready.
“The club has to be prepared to handle the player regardless of their celebrity, regardless of their position, regardless of what they’re required to do,” Farmer said. “The responsibility is born by both the club, and the player. When the club doesn’t follow up on its end, it makes it that much easier for players to get off track.”
Farmer said Manziel had celebrity status stemming from his days at Texas A&M, and the Browns hadn’t seen a rookie with that kind of fame.
“It’s celebrity. . . . This player had unique celebrity that I don’t think the league has seen,” he said. “That brings a whole new element of how you try to handle the person.”
Manziel is now out of the league and facing accusations of a litany of off-field issues, ranging from domestic violence to excessive drinking to trashing a house he rented.
“I’m concerned for the person more than I am the player,” Farmer said.
If the person doesn’t get help, he’s done being a player.