There have been heaps of failed quarterbacks over the last two decades with the Cleveland Browns.
Before the arrival of No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, Cleveland had used a whopping 29 players at the position since drafting Tim Couch in 1999.
The struggle was so bad it spawned a now notorious jersey with all those who tried — and failed — to be Cleveland’s QB savior.
Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer and Brady Quinn were among the names to occupy the top QB spot on the depth chart at some point during the run.
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And then there was Johnny Manziel, arguably the most hyped, polarizing and disappointing figure to go under center for the Browns.
After taking Manziel with a first round pick in the 2014 draft, the Texas A&M star and Heisman winner struggled with a series of off-field issues stemming from his “Johnny Football” persona.
“I truly believe if they can’t get him help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday,” Manziel’s father, Paul, told The Dallas Morning News at one point.
Manziel lasted two years with the team. He started eight total games, losing six. He completed 57 percent of his passes, notched seven total touchdowns and had seven interceptions. He rushed for 259 yards and a touchdown but never remotely lived up to the hype.
Since, Manziel has had a failed stint in the CFL — among other things — but is making the media rounds this week to petition for a spot on the Houston XFL team.
While on the Dan Patrick Show as a guest on Monday, Manziel spoke on the Browns and if he is cheering from afar for his former team.
“I’m happy for all the guys that are there. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of really any team in the NFL anymore after having played and been in the business,” Manziel said. “But guys like (Odell Beckham Jr.) guys like (Baker Mayfield) and (Jarvis Landry), I know these guys and I am definitely pulling for them.”
Before the Browns took Mayfield, the most common uneducated comparisons floating around were to Manziel as undersized, athletic quarterbacks with “character concerns.”
Like Manziel, Mayfield’s character was a talking point, mostly due to an ugly late-night incident at a bar, as well as his animated antics on the field while at Oklahoma.
Just a little over a year into his NFL career, Mayfield has firmly put all that talk to rest, and the second-year hurler is drawing praise from coaches and teammates alike about his work ethic and abilities as a leader.
“There are a lot of misnomers out there about Baker,” Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said at minicamp last week. “Baker works his tail off in everything that he does, and it is no different this year than it was last year.”
According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Manziel wants to play for the Houston XFL team and be reunited with June Jones, who he played for in the CFL.
“I enjoyed every single day I had with coach Jones. Being in his offense was the best part of each day. I know he’s going to be successful wherever he’s coaching,” Manziel said “It’s a stone’s throw from College Station. A lot of Aggies drove from Houston to College Station. Houston’s a great city that’ll always be near and dear to me.”