Here’s all you need to know about Johnny Manziel in the NFL: In all likelihood, Jerry Jones will have passed up not one, but two opportunities to bring in the former Texas A&M star.
As it seems extremely unlikely that Manziel, who already was passed over by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2014 draft, will go to Dallas to play understudy to Tony Romo (Jones has said he wants a succession plan in place for when Romo retires), that leaves 30 other NFL teams to sign the guy who might be the uber-bust of the century. Oh, someone may sign him and we’ll get to why in a second. But if it doesn’t happen? Manziel will have made at least one kind of NFL history:
Only three other quarterbacks in modern NFL history have been drafted in the first round, then not been on an NFL roster in their third season. Manziel would be the second-highest pick to "earn" this distinction, have the second-fewest wins among the ignominious group and be the first this century to pull the feat. He’d join other luminaries:
1. Cade McNown, No. 12 pick, 1999, Chicago Bears, 2 years, 3-12 record
2. Jim Druckenmiller, No. 26 pick, 1997, San Francisco 49ers, 2 years, 1-0 record
3. Todd Marinovich, No. 24 pick, 1991, Los Angeles Raiders, 2 years, 3-5 record
Manziel went No. 22 in 2014 and went 2-6 in eight starts, drawing far more attention off the field than on it. One constant though: Whatever attention he was getting, it was negative.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
A team might be seduced into bringing in Manziel. They’ll remember that game against Alabama and the freewheelin’ way he led his A&M team in his Heisman season and think he’s worth a flyer. He might be. I mean, Tim Tebow got three years in the league. JaMarcus Russell did too (though the salary structure was far different then). Jake Locker played four years. Vince Young and Joey Harrington were in the bigs for six. J.P. Losman played seven years. There’s always interest in a guy who was once thought to be one of the two or three best 21- or 22-year-old quarterbacks in the world. His skills didn’t just disappear after all.
Or maybe Manziel never had it. Being a successful quarterback in the NFL takes two things: talent and dedication. Perhaps the former was, like Tebow, a college-specific aptitude. And as for dedication? At least Tebow had that. If Manziel hasn’t gotten the picture yet that simply being Johnny Manziel is not good enough to make him successful in the NFL, why would anyone ever expect him to in the future?