Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was benched and demoted to third-string in part because he lied to the team about when his controversial video that showed him partying and holding champagne bottle was taken, FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported Thursday.
Glazer also said Manziel had told the organization that the video was old and also told friends to lie to the team about the date of the video.
"It’s the trust, the accountability part of it," head coach Mike Pettine said Wednesday. "This is where we had an obvious shortcoming."
When that didn’t happen, Pettine had no choice but to stick Manziel behind starter Josh McCown and Austin Davis on Cleveland’s depth chart. Manziel could be inactive Monday night when the Browns host the Baltimore Ravens, depriving the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner a chance to showcase his skills and progress on one of pro football’s biggest stages.
Despite the demotion, the Browns haven’t given up on Manziel.
"This is a heavy dose of adversity. We’ll see how he handles it," Pettine said. "We told him yesterday, this isn’t a dead end. This is a hurdle."
The video in question showed Manziel rapping profane lyrics while holding what appeared to be a champagne bottle. This came just days after he was named starter and after he had talked with Pettine, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell about the team’s expectations for him in his new role.
Check out Glazer’s full report in the video above.